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PS-114 by-eleection: ECP Restrains RO from Issuing Notification of Saeed Ghani’s Victory

Adeeb Kaker

Islamabad (July 12, 2017): Election Commission of Pakistan restrained Returning Officer from issuing notification of Saeed Ghani’s victory in PS-114 by-elections till July 17, 2017.

The restraining order was issued by the ECP on MQM petition challenging PPP’s Saeed Ghani’s victory in PS-114Karachi.

The MQM in its petition has alleged widespread rigging in the by-election by the PPP candidate.

MQM, which was runner up in the election, pleaded the Commission to order verification of votes polled in the constituency through Nadra.  It also pleaded the commission to order recounting of votes.

The party alleged that the results were changed in the eleventh hours.

A five member bench of ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza Khan. MQM counsel  Iqbal S Qadri submitted that a large numbers of fake votes were polled in the constituency.

He added that rigging was carried out at 14 polling stations.  During the hearing the issue of using bio metric machine for voting also came up. MQM counsel said that they had supported the idea of biometric machine for voting.

The CEC remarked that the Commission had wanted to use the machine for voting but Nadra did not prove data to the ECP.

The counsel of MQM candidate pleaded the ECP to order re-counting of votes.  MQM-P Chief Farooq Sattar and candidate Kamran Tissori were also present during the hearing.

During the course of hearing, Farooq Sattar kept giving points writing on chit to MQM counsel. Regarding the MQM plea to order recounting, the CEC remarked that usually Election Tribunal order recounting. Upon this, the counsel said that the ECP had also power to order recounting of votes.

It also urged the ECP not to issue notification of Saeed Ghani as returned candidate before the recounting and verification of votes.

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