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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 25, 2021

NA-75 re-election: PTI to challenge ECP's order in top court

Pakistan

Web Desk
Thu, Feb 25, 2021
Chief Minister Punjab's aide on information Firdous Ashiq Awan. — APP/File

PTI announced on Thursday it will challenge in the Supreme Court an order by the Election Commission of Pakistan for re-elections in the NA-75 Sialkot-IV constituency.

The ECP, in a detailed order issued today, had announced re-polling in the entire constituency on March 18 after concluding that “the election in the subject constituency has not been conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in a transparent manner”.

In a tweet following the verdict by the Commission, Chief Minister Punjab's aide on information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the party has certain reservations about the Election Commission's decision regarding the Daska by-polls.

PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi will "exercise his legal right" and file the appeal against ECP's decision, she said.

"We will approach the Supreme Court and appeal the decision. The people of Daska decided in PTI's favour. It is incomprehensible that a victorious candidate be prevented from representing his constituency," Awan said.

ECP witholds results

The PML-N had requested the Election Commission to hold polling again in the Daska constituency as the February 19 election was marred by controversies and clashes.

The ECP withheld the results after 20 presiding officers in the constituency went missing for several hours and top officials of the district administration were unavailable to the commission to answer its queries.

'Conducive environment was not available'

In the short order released today declaring the election void, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said after the arguments heard and record perused, the ECP has come to the conclusion that “the election in the subject constituency has not been conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in a transparent manner”.

“From the perusal of available record produced by the parties, the Returning Officer, as well as collected by the Commission through different sources, we have come to the conclusion that a conducive environment was not available for the candidates and voters of the constituency and the election in the subject constituency has not been conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in a transparent manner," it read.

"Incidents of murders, firing and injuries, bad law and order situation in the subject constituency [created] harassment for voters and other circumstances leading to make the process of results doubtful/unascertainable,” the ECP order noted.

The order added: “This commission in the exercise of powers under Article 218(3) of the Constitution read with section 9(1) of the Elections Act, 2017, declares the poll held on 19.02.21 in the subject constituency (NA-78, Sialkot-IV) as void and orders fresh poll/re-poll in the entire constituency on 18th March 2021.”