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RO rejects Shahbaz’s plea challenging Wada’s win in Karachi

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July 28, 2018

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Ag agencies

LAHORE: In the follow-up to the general elections 2018 in the country, many losing candidates have challenged the vote count, Geo News reported.

A returning officer Friday rejected the plea of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif to recount the votes in a closely contested election in NA-249 constituency of Karachi.

PTI’s Faisal Wada won by 600 votes beating Shahbaz Sharif, who secured 34,626 votes. Talking to Geo News, PML-N leader Rana Mashood earlier Friday confirmed the plea was filed.

Meanwhile, the returning officers Friday summoned all candidates of NA-131 and NA-129 on applications moved by PML-N candidate Kh Saad Rafique and PTI’s candidate Aleem Khan for recounting of votes in their constituencies respectively.

PTI chief Imran Khan won the seat of NA-131 by defeating his rival Saad Rafique while PML-N’s candidate Sardar Ayaz Sadiq won the seat of NA-129 from Aleem Khan.

However, both the runner-up candidates moved the applications before the returning officers concerned, seeking recounting of votes. At this, the RO summoned all the candidates today (Saturday) in person or through representatives for vote recounting process.

The complainants said they were not provided Form 45 at the time of compilation of results while their polling agents were forcibly ousted from the polling stations. They said the polling agents were not present there during the process of counting and preparation of the Form 45.

The ballot papers which had been discarded/rejected by the presiding officers were not shown to the polling agents that raised many questions on transparency of the results, they added. The complainants prayed the returning officers to accept their applications under Section 90(6) of Election Act, 2017, for votes recounting. In a separate application of Aleem Khan against the PML-N candidate Yasin Sohal, the RO issued notice to the candidate from PP-162.

Former minister and PML-N candidate from NA-108 Faisalabad Abid Sher Ali has filed a petition with additional sessions judge/returning officer Shakeel Ahmed Sipra requesting for recounting of votes polled in his favour and his rival PTI candidate Mian Farrukh Habib.

The court has fixed today (Saturday) for hearing of the petition. He alleged that his rival Farrukh Habib had connived with the polling staff and altered the results. He further pleaded that his polling agent was pushed out of the polling station; hence he could not witness the votes counting process. Moreover, Form 45 was not supplied to his polling agent that is tantamount to defying the election rules. It is pertinent to mention that PTI winning candidate Farrukh Habib bagged 112,740 votes while his rival Abid Sher Ali had secured 111,529 votes.

On the other hand, after rejection from district returning officer (DRO), former prime minister and PPPP candidate from NA-158 Multan-V, Yusuf Raza Gilani applied to ECP for recounting.

In a statement Friday from Multan, Yusuf Raza Gilani said that constitutionally, if one loses with a margin of 10,000 votes, one can apply for recounting.

He, however, stated that his application was rejected though his opponent PTI candidate Ibrahim Khan had won by around 9,000 votes from NA-158 Multan-V. He said he should be given the right of getting his votes recounted. Gilani bagged 74,443 votes while PTI’s Ibrahim Khan won by securing 84,304 votes and difference of votes stand at 8,861.

Applications for recounting of votes filed by Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani in NA-154 Multan-I and Syed Ali Musa Gilani in NA-157 Multan-IV with the returning officers concerned have been accepted. Sources in the PPP said Friday that votes would be recounted today.

In Jhang, PPP candidate for NA-144 Faisal Saleh Hayat, PTI candidate for PP-127 Nawaz Bharwana and independent candidate for PP-129 Madho Lal Hussain Friday filed applications before the ROs for recounting of votes.

The ROs have issued notices to all the staff and candidates concerned and fixed today (Saturday) for recounting of votes. It is pertinent to mention that PTI candidate Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan had defeated PPP candidate Faisal Saleh Hayat by getting 106,043 while Faisal bagged 105,454 votes. Faisal has pointed out that 12,970 votes were wrongly rejected by the presiding officers of polling stations. Independent candidate for PP-127 Muhammad Aslam Bharwana had secured 27,399 votes and defeated PTI’s Nawaz Bharwana, who got 26,608 votes. PTI candidate for PP-129 Asif Katia bagged 23,281 votes while Madho Lal Hussain had bagged 22,327 votes. Madho Lal Hussain stated in his application that 5,018 votes were rejected at polling stations during counting.

In Toba Tek Singh, PTI candidate for NA-112 Ch Muhammad Ashfaq Friday filed an application before the returning officer for recounting of votes.

In his application, the PTI candidate stated that the ECP had allotted the symbol of sheep to a candidate Umer Ashfaq and he had doubted that his votes had been counted as tiger which resulted in the victory for the PML-N candidate Junaid Anwaar. The RO has summoned both complainant and the MNA-elect today.

The returning officer of the NA-73 (Sialkot-II) constituency, M. Zahid Ghaznavi Friday ordered Kh Asif, winning candidate of the PML-N, and runner up Usman Dar of the PTI to appear today for recounting of some of the votes. Usman Dar had earlier filed a petition before the RO for recounting of the rejected votes upon which both the candidates appeared before the RO Friday. After a brief hearing, both of them were summoned today.

In Gujranwala, PTI candidate for PP-54 Rizwan Aslam Butt has submitted an application for recounting of votes. The party workers also staged a demonstration in support of the candidate.

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