Karachi (July 27, 2018): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif‘s request for recounting of votes in NA-249 was rejected by the returning officer (RO) of the constituency on Friday.
In a first-ever contest seeing a top leader of the PML-N in Karachi’s electoral arena, Shahbaz, according to unofficial results, has lost to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Faisal Vawda with a narrow margin of 718 votes.PML-N leader Rana Mashood had filed the request on behalf of Sharif with the returning officer of NA-249 from where PTI candidate Wadya has been unofficially declared elected with 35,344 votes. Sharif emerged as the runner-up as he bagged 34,626 votes and Mufti Abid Mubarak of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan secured the third position by obtaining 23,981 votes.
In his application requesting for recounting of the votes, Mashood said that Vawda had won the seat with a winning margin of only over 600 votes while over 3,000 votes were rejected during the counting.Commenting on the decision of the RO, Mushahidullah Khan, a senior leader of the PML-N, said had the election process been fair and transparent, the returning officer would have accepted Shahbaz’s request for recounting of votes, instead of ‘summarily’ rejecting his application.
It appeared that in many constituencies PML-N candidates were in winning position but they had been ‘defeated through rigging’ and now their applications for vote recount were being rejected “under pressure”, Khan alleged. He said that the PML-N would file an appeal with the election commission against the decision of the RO whose behaviour “has proved that the party is not being provided a level playing field”.