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Imran Khan's party to protest blatant fraud in by-elections – News 24

Imran Khan's party to protest blatant fraud in by-elections – News 24


Accusing the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of orchestrating “blatant fraud” in the recent by-elections, Imran Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), announced its intention to organize demonstrations on a national scale.

The by-elections, held on Sunday for 21 seats in the National and Provincial Assembly, were held amid strict security measures, including the suspension of cellular and internet services in specific districts of Punjab and Balochistan to maintain the public order, as reported by the media on Tuesday.

Unofficial results released Monday indicated that the PML-N, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, emerged victorious in at least two seats in the National Assembly and 10 seats in the Provincial Assembly.

Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of Khan, 71, said on Monday that April 21 will be remembered as a black day in Pakistan's history, with “open and blatant violations of the law” on a scale never before observed. in the country's history, the Dawn newspaper reported.

[The] Election day is considered a day of responsibility and people vote with great zeal. However, on April 21, open and flagrant violations of the law were noted. The extent of manipulation and violation of law has never been witnessed in the history of Pakistan,” said lawyer Gohar Khan, president of the party.

“The doors of polling stations were closed and in some polling stations, more votes were polled than the total votes recorded,” Gohar said, addressing a press conference. He alleged that “mandate thieves” resorted to shameful tactics to manipulate the electoral process, including stuffing ballot boxes before voting even began and coercing people as well as officials into rigging the by-polls in attendance. of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). representatives, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Gohar said such actions were unheard of even in the darkest days of the dictatorship. The party urged the ECP to suspend notification of results and announced a series of protests starting Friday.

Gohar said he and party chief Omar Ayub visited various polling stations and witnessed blatant fraud. He said that even after the election watchdog was informed about the incidents of fraud in Gujrat, no action was taken despite the passage of 24 hours, the report said.

The Constitution, democracy and the rule of law are virtually suspended in the country, he said in the report. Addressing the press conference, Ayub said pre-poll rigging started with the suspension of internet, alleging that Prime Minister Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz did not believe in transparency .

On Saturday, the federal government announced that cellular services would remain temporarily suspended in some districts of Punjab and Balochistan during the by-elections. Ayub said police officials told them that intelligence agencies were not allowing voters to enter polling stations.

He said Sunday's by-elections could not be called transparent as it was a total farce in which only taxpayers' money was wasted in a futile exercise.

Claiming that Sharif got fewer votes in the general elections than the PML-N candidate candidate in the by-election, Ayub said, “This is beyond comprehension. Sharing the party's protest plan, he said: “We will start protests, along with other parties, next Friday across the country. »

“Then we will hold another protest in Faisalabad, followed by a public meeting in Karachi on May 5, and then a series of public meetings will be held across the country,” he said according to the report.

Highlighting doubts over the credibility of the top election watchdog, PTI president Gohar questioned why the ECP did not involve the returning officers (ROs) and district returning officers of the ruling judicial.

Two seats each in the National Assembly from Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and one seat from Sindh, while twelve seats from the Punjab Assembly and two each from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies were up for grabs.

Major political parties including PML-N, PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) participated in the by-elections. However, Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl boycotted the elections.

General elections were held across the country on February 8 to elect representatives to the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies. But polls were canceled for one National Assembly, two Punjab Assemblies and one Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seat, respectively.

With contributions from PTI.




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