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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Feb 8 polls were fixed, claims JUI-F

By Zubair Ashraf
February 14, 2024

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has demanded re-polling and vote recount for several national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies in Sindh, including Karachi, claiming that last week’s general elections were “technically” rigged to sideline the religious party from parliamentary politics.

JUI-F Karachi leader Qari Muhammad Usman Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on February 13, 2024. — Facebook/Qari Muhammad Usman
JUI-F Karachi leader Qari Muhammad Usman Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on February 13, 2024. — Facebook/Qari Muhammad Usman

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, JUI-F Karachi leader Qari Muhammad Usman said the elections held on February 8 have become a “shameful” and “disgraceful” stain in the political history of Pakistan.

He said that since the transparency of the recent elections has been badly affected by the “suspicious” actions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the JUI-F rejects the results, particularly in Sindh.

“What is the need for holding elections when seats are distributed?” he remarked, saying that balloting has become a symbolic process in the country, because the results were decided beforehand. “How long will the Pakistani nation continue to watch this game?”

He announced that his party would resist these “fraudulent” practices in the province, claiming that the JUI-F candidates who had won the elections in the Sukkur and Larkana divisions were turned into losers overnight through rigging.

Referring to the delay in the results’ announcements by the ECP, Usman commented that for the first time in the country’s history, despite taking four days to count the votes, the outcome was “dubious” and unacceptable.

He said that the results are not in accordance with Form 45, adding that the situation reeks of manipulation of the votes cast on Election Day.

He also said the JUI-F demands announcing the results of PS-22 and NA-191 according to Form 45, and re-voting at 13 polling stations of PS-2 whose Form 45 were allegedly missing.

The JUI-F leader said fingerprints should be checked and votes recounted in NA-192, NA-193, NA-201, NA-199, NA-197, NA-196, NA-194 and NA-245 as well as in PS-5, PS-6, PS-7, PS-8, PS-9, PS-18, PS-21, PS-22, PS-25, PS-111, PS-106, PS-114 and PS-118, because there are “clear evidences of rigging” in these constituencies.

He demanded action against the perpetrators of the “attack” on JUI-F workers in Jacobabad, Thul and other parts of the province, and the suspension of the returning officers involved in “rigging” in the Sukkur and Larkana divisions.

He said that the results of the Sukkur and Larkana constituencies should be declared null and void, and that re-polling should be conducted for these seats.

Usman said the JUI-F would hold a protest sit-in outside the ECP Sindh office in Karachi on Thursday (tomorrow), adding that the party’s provincial general secretary, Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, would address the gathering.