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February 12, 2009

NA-28 by-election


February 12, 2009

PESHAWAR: Claiming victory in the NA-28 by-election in Buner, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has urged the district returning officer to declare unofficial result at the earliest, as an undue delay in the result might create law and order problem in the district and other parts of the province.

Acting provincial Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Shabbir Ahmad Khan provided attested copies to media persons, of the results from each of the 11 polling stations of Shalbandai and Amnawar localities of Buner where re-polling was held on Tuesday.

The copies showed that of the total 10,032 registered votes, 1,070 ballots were polled. Of the polled votes, Bakht Jehan Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami grabbed 567 and Istiqbal Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) received 520 votes, thus the former added 38 more votes to his previous lead of 1,664.

The ANP, which leads the coalition government in the Frontier province, made a separate claim. They say their candidate Istiqbal Khan bagged 2,943 votes against the 665 of Bakht Jehan. And thus Istiqbal not only covered the previous lead of the Jamaat-e-Islami candidate but also went ahead of him by 714 votes.

The district returning officer, Anwar Ali, district and sessions judge of Buner, on the other hand wrote to the chief election commissioner to declare the re-polling null and void, as according to him the results were concocted.

The letter states: “I humbly submit that the re-polling in the remaining 11 polling stations of NA-28 was not carried out by the presiding officers so appointed for the reason that two different results were furnished i.e. the one to the contesting candidate Bakht Jehan and the other submitted to the returning officer in spite of the fact that on the direction of the ECP I and my team, including returning officers and assistant returning officers, personally supervised the entire process and thus the result so furnished to the presiding officer is not in accordance with the votes actually

polled, from which I am not satisfied and therefore cannot permit the RO to declare the unofficial result because it will create inconvenience not only to the general public but also to the candidates, resulting in law and order situation as well as threats to the lives of the judicial officers involved. Therefore, I may be guided in this subject so as to declare the present re-polling as null and void.”

Shabbir thanked the provincial government for holding the peaceful re-poll, but at the same time threatened it of dire consequences if the results were not declared at the earliest or the results were tampered. He said the results were withheld with mala fide intentions, as the ANP wanted its candidates to secure victory at any cost. He said the results, if tampered, would create a serious law and order situation in the province and the ANP would be responsible for it.

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