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Senate to hold discussion on poll rigging

03 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Amidst a fresh debate on the issue of alleged failure of the Results Transmission System (RTS) during the July 25 general elections, the Senate is set to hold a full-fledged discussion on the issue of “poll rigging” when it will go into the session on Monday (today) after a two-day recess.

A discussion on the admitted adjournment motion moved by Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi “regarding the issue of rigging in general elections 2018” is part of the 24-point agenda issued by the Senate Secretariat for Monday’s private member’s day.

Last week, the Senate chairman had to adjourn the proceedings twice due to lack of quorum after the opposition members’ walkout when they were not allowed to speak on the RTS fiasco.

Through a calling attention notice, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Senator Azam Swati had drawn the attention of the house to the alleged failure of the RTS in the elections, and the performance of the Election Commission of Pakistan following the fiasco. He had said that the ECP and the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) were blaming each other for the system’s failure.

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Raza Rabbani had alleged that Mr Swati was only presenting his side of the story and that he should have moved an adjournment motion as the whole house wanted a debate on the matter.

Mr Rabbani said the opposition had already demanded that a parliamentary commission be formed to probe the allegations of rigging in the elections.

Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala, however, pointed out that rules allowed Mr Swati to speak on his calling attention notice for 10 minutes. This prompted the opposition members to stage the walkout and point out lack of quorum.

On Friday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Senator Azam Swati held a news conference and stated that the federal government had decided to launch an inquiry into alleged manipulation in election results as they believed that top officials of Nadra were involved in “twisting the system”.

The two PTI leaders claimed that there was no rigging in the elections, but “the flow of the results was deliberately delayed by Nadra”.

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