The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sindh president and former federal minister, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, on Monday alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to hold free and fair local government elections in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
He claimed that the elections that were held on Sunday were rigged, for which the ECP was directly responsible. Addressing a news conference, Zaidi said that throughout the elections day, news media showed several clips of rigging.
He was accompanied by PTI Karachi President Bilal Ghaffar and many PTI candidates of the local government elections. The PTI Sindh president maintained that it was his petition that forced the ECP to finally conduct the local government elections in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on January 15.
“The ECP says the elections went peacefully, but they were peacefully rigged elections,” the PTI leader said. He added that the PTI was a peaceful party that did not believe in violence. Zaidi stated that various Form 11 in the PTI’s possession, which are duly signed by the respective presiding officers, indicated that the PTI had won 70 UCs throughout Karachi. Until late Monday afternoon, PTI candidates had not received their results from the returning officers, he claimed.
He alleged that political engineering was taking place between the district commissioners and returning officers behind closed doors to manipulate the results. He remarked that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had rightly described the ECP as a B-Team of the Pakistan Democratic Movement. All the news channels showed rigging clips throughout the day but the ECP did nothing to stop rigging, he added.
He said that PTI MPAs Rabistan Khan and Adeel Ahmed were arrested by the police for trying to stop rigging while Amjad Afridi was beaten up by the police and arrested for terrorism. Zaidi termed the Sindh government thugs and the provincial police as facilitators of the government in political victimisation.
He was of the view that upon seeing the condition of Sindh and Karachi under the PPP-led Sindh government during the past 15 years, no sane person could vote for the PPP. He said those engaging in political engineering were damaging the country by manipulating the public’s mandate.
Zaidi announced that the PTI Sindh chapter rejected the results and process of the local government elections held on January 15 in Karachi and would decide its next course of action after consulting with its central leadership.
Zaidi demanded that all the results be released to the candidates immediately. He also called for resignation of the chief election commissioner for what he said failure to ensure free and fair elections.
The PTI leader also criticised the Sindh inspector general of police and Karachi additional inspector general of police saying that they failed to stop rigging and could not maintain law and order at the polling stations.
He demanded resignations from the provincial and city police chiefs. The PTI Karachi president said that many polling stations throughout Karachi began the voting process late because of lack of staff and materials. In some cases, the presiding officers were absent, Ghaffar claimed. He reiterated Zaidi’s claim that the PTI was winning in 70 UCs as per the various Form 11 in the PTI leader’s possession.PTI Parliamentary Leader in the Sindh Assembly Khurrum Sher Zaman has rejected the results of Karachi’s local government elections held on Sunday.
He accused the PPP and the Sindh government of rigging the elections, saying that the entire country and the world saw various video clips of rigging allegedly done by PPP candidates and workers.
Zaman criticised the ECP for not stopping the rigging and probing it given the videos that were seen all day on various news channels and social media platforms”. He remarked that the delay of more than 24 hours in the announcement of the poll results was creating suspicions of “political engineering happening behind closed doors”.
Zaman asked the PPP, given its track record of poor electoral success in Karachi, how it supposedly win 100 UC seats. He assured the voters that the PTI would fight in all forums to ensure the accuracy of the results and that the mandate of the Karachiites was not stolen or manipulated.
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