ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) yesterday condemned the statement given by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq saying the constitutional body could not bend itself or law to please one or the other interested party.
The ECP termed the criticism by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq baseless for sending a PTI application to an election tribunal over alleged vote transfers before the 2015 by-poll in Lahore's NA-122 constituency.
Mr Sadiq had blasted the commission for sending the application to the tribunal without listening to his point of view on the issue, terming the action based on ‘malicious intentions’.
He said the election commission would bear the consequences of its own incompetence this time around as he had already suffered at the hands of the institution’s irresponsibility once.
In a statement issued here, the ECP responded to Sadiq’s criticism saying the commission was an independent institution and fully aware of its responsibilities.
“Laws cannot be altered for providing personal gains to an individual,” it added.
The statement further said that the NA speaker’s criticism on a constitutional institution was ‘baseless’.
The feud took place after a notice was issued to the NA speaker by an election tribunal on Friday on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Aleem Khan alleging pre-poll rigging in the NA-122 by-poll in the shape of vote transfers.
According to the petition, some 30,000 votes had been cancelled and shifted from the constituency before the by-poll earlier this year.
It may be mentioned that Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was re-elected from the National Assembly constituency after his victory in the 2013 general elections had been challenged in the court by PTI’s Aleem Khan.
Following the second NA-122 win, Ayaz Sadiq was elected as NA Speaker again, becoming the first individual in the country’s history to be elected twice.
“It is unfortunate that institutions are criticised for personal interests that should be avoided in the best interest of democratic polity and all responsible public office-holders should show respect to the institutions,” a statement issued by the ECP stated.