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ECP takes notice of circulating video on social media, orders inquiry

3 min read

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), while taking notice of the circulating video on Social Media, has directed to launch an inquiry. The videos shared on social media showing voters being handed over money by masked men at a political party to get votes in upcoming by-election in NA-133.

This constituency has been devoid of representation in the National Assembly after the demise of PML-N Lahore chapter’s central leader Pervez Malik. The election is scheduled to be held on December 5.

According to the video, masked men of a political party  were handing over money to purchase votes in NA-133 Lahore. An alleged video showing buying and selling of votes for the upcoming NA-133 by-poll has come to light on Sunday.

A video of alleged buying and selling of votes for NA-133 by-election in Lahore constituency of Lahore has been leaked and it can be seen in the footage that oaths, name registration and money are being given on the Qur’an while the vote buyers showing posters of PML-N leader have covered their faces with masks.

The State Minister for Information and Broadcasting and PTI leader Farrukh Habib, after the alleged video leak, has demanded of the Election Commission to take action on the sale and purchase of the votes. “The video is a big proof,” he claimed.

The PTI leader said that according to the election laws no one’s conscience can be bought, videos are proving that regular conscience is being bought, and what greater proof does the Election Commission need? Immediate notice should be taken, he added.

Ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Musarat Cheema have been dropped out of the election as their nominees were rejected.

On Sunday, the returning officer sent a notice to the Lahore commissioner and the Punjab police chief, seeking their help in identifying the individuals in the video.

he notice was also served to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) chairman and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman, wherein the ECP directed the authorities concerned to submit the inquiry report by November 30.

The ECP has directed the authorities concerned to conduct forensic of the viral footage, ascertain the identity and collect complete bio data of the suspects.

It also directed the officials to identify the place where money was allegedly being distributed to buy votes.

The leaked video triggered a war of words between the two opposition parties with PML-N accusing PPP of buying loyalties of their voters.

“PPP should stop luring people ahead of the by-elections which they cannot win,” PML-N leader Ali Pervaiz Malik said in a tweet.

PPP central Punjab’s general secretary Syed Hasan Murtaza hit back at PML-N, saying “the PML-N is paying respect to money instead of vote in NA-133 elections”.

He added that his party will compete with PML-N in the by-poll through “its ideology instead of using money”.

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