Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar on Thursday petitioned the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the excessive expenditure of funds by political parties during polls.
Sattar in his petition asked the ECP to scrutinise the electoral expenditure of political parties during campaigning for the polls.
Speaking to the press outside the ECP, Sattar said, "The ECP has allowed each candidate for a National Assembly seat to spend Rs4 million during campaigning but political parties spend tens of millions of rupees in this regard."
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As a result, he said, candidates were not on a level playing field. He added that political parties spent billions of rupees to run media campaigns during election time.
"The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spent Rs1 billion while the PPP and the PML-N spent Rs2 billion each (during elections)," he claimed, adding that foreign firms had been hired for the election campaigns.
"Such expenditures should be marked in the parties' assets," he said.
The MQM leader said common citizens should also be given opportunities to take part in elections.
The ECP, after an initial hearing, deferred the hearing of the case to Sept 12.
Sattar may join PTI
Farooq Sattar once again reiterated his claim that the PTI wants him to contest the by-election for the NA-247 seat which will become vacant after the resignation of president-elect Arif Alvi.
On Wednesday, in response to the claim, PTI leader Haleem Adil Shaikh had expressed his surprise over the statement. He categorically denied the claim, saying that the party will issue a ticket to "an old and loyal PTI worker".
He made it clear that "[the seat] is not going to be offered to a newcomer."
Sattar, however, claimed that he had been invited to join the PTI and has been consulting with his inner circle over the invite. "The PTI is trying to get me to contest on the NA seat," he added.