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Tuesday May 21, 2024

PTI cries foul in by-polls, announces nationwide protests

Imran-founded party announces utilising entire political force in forthcoming protests, power shows commencing from Faisalabad

By Web Desk
April 23, 2024
(From left to right) PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan, chairman Gohar Ali Khan, secretary general Omar Ayub Khan, and SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza address a press conference in Islamabad on April 22, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Facebook/@PTIOfficial
(From left to right) PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan, chairman Gohar Ali Khan, secretary general Omar Ayub Khan, and SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza address a press conference in Islamabad on April 22, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Facebook/@PTIOfficial

Terming the entire exercise of Sunday’s by-elections on 21 national and provincial seats “fraudulent”, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced organising a nationwide protest against “by-poll rigging” on Friday (April 26).

PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, addressing a press conference alongside other leaders including Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, termed the by-elections “fraudulent” — a major electoral event after the February 8 nationwide polls.

He also alleged the suspension of internet and mobile services was one of the tactics for “rigging” the electoral process. Khan also claimed that a PML-N candidate secured more votes than Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the by-elections which was a pure example of poll result “manipulation”.

The politico urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to notify results in those constituencies where rigging complaints had been lodged besides demanding the top electoral body launch a thorough probe.

Khan made the announcement for the nationwide protest movement against “by-poll rigging” commencing on Friday from Faisalabad through the platform of “Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-Aayin-e-Pakistan” — a new platform formed by the former ruling party-led alliance to vow protection of the Constitution, and the rule of law.

The former minister detailed that Friday protests would be held in all provincial constituencies won by the Imran-founded party besides power shows in Karachi on May 5, as well as in Gujrat, ruler Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a phase-wise plan.

The Nawaz-led party emerged victorious on most national and provincial assembly seats in the April 21 by-elections following the announcement of unofficial results.

The party, according to the unofficial and inconclusive results, claimed at least two out of the five National Assembly seats, while also won 10 out of the 16 seats in the provincial legislatures.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council, the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) have won one seat each in the provincial assemblies.