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July 29, 2018

Recount confirms PTI candidate’s win in PS-99


July 29, 2018

Returning officers on Saturday rejected the recount pleas moved by the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) candidates for the 2018 general elections against the winning nominees belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PPP’s NA-242 (East-I) candidate Iqbal Sand and NA-237 (Malir-II) nominee Abdul Hakeem Baloch had filed applications with the respective returning officers of their constituencies seeking a recount of the ballots cast on July 25.

The applicants contended that the polling agents were forced out of the polling stations before and during the process of counting the votes on Election Day after the voting had closed.

They added that neither of the presiding officers had issued them Form-45 and that the results were withheld for a longer period, which raised doubts about the transparency of the entire polling exercise.

The NA-242 constituency was won by the PTI’s Saifur Rehman Mehsud and NA-237 was secured by the party’s Capt (retd) Jamil Ahmed Khan. Mehsud bagged 27,333 votes and Khan led with 33,289 ballots.

Meanwhile, the victory of the PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh in PS-99 (East-I) was upheld after the recount of the votes in the constituency on the application of his PPP rival Shahabuddin.

PPP’s protest

Dozens of supporters of NA-237 runner-up Abdul Hakeem Baloch of the PPP blocked the main National Highway outside the Malir courts in protest and demanded a recount of the ballots cast on Wednesday.

The protesters, including women, shouted slogans such as ‘Zalimo Jawab Do, Vote Ka Hisab Do’ (roughly translated as ‘answer us, tyrants; account for the votes’). A long queue of stuck vehicles, including ambulances, was witnessed on the highway, as both of its tracks were occupied by the protesters.

A spokesman for the PTI later said in a statement that the leadership of and the candidates belonging to the PPP could not take in the results of the general elections that were held in a free, fair and transparent manner.

He said that instead of conceding its defeat in the polls, the PPP has been unduly complaining about alleged rigging in the elections, adding that the people of Karachi overwhelmingly voted in favour of the PTI because they have complete confidence in the party and its Chairman Imran Khan.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Baloch secured only 3,109 votes in the race for NA-237. Interestingly, the provincial assembly constituencies PS-88 and PS-89, both of which fall under NA-237, were won by the PPP’s candidates Ghulam Murtaza Baloch and Saleem Baloch with 22,561 and 23,923 votes respectively.

In the PS-88 constituency the PTI’s candidate Capt (retd) Rizwan bagged 16,386 votes, while in the race for the PS-89 seat the PTI’s nominee Ali Hussain secured 18,781 votes.

PML-N’s claim

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Sindh and Punjab leaders Shah Muhammad Shah, Salim Zia and Rana Mashhood addressed a news conference at the Karachi Press Club, where they decried meddling in the election’s results.

They announced that they reject the results because a particular party, namely the PTI, was supported in the July 25 polling exercise so it could be put in power.

MWM’s statement

In a statement issued by the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), the party’s leader Allama Mukhtar Imami announced that they reject the election results for PS-89.

He said that the polling staff’s allegedly biased attitude has made the entire process seem suspicious. He also complained that the PPP was unofficially announced as being victorious in the constituency before the completion of the vote count at all the polling stations.

‘Accept your defeat’

In another statement issued by the PTI, the party’s Karachi President MPA-elect Firdous Shamim Naqvi rejected the allegations of rigging by rival political parties, saying that the beaten parties should accept their defeat.

The city chief of the PTI also said that rather than convening all-party conferences, the protesters should understand that no throne is ever loyal to anyone in politics.

ECP’s statistics

According to the provisional results issued by the ECP, the PTI is the leading political party in Karachi with 12 National Assembly (NA) and 20 Provincial Assembly of Sindh (PA) seats.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has lost its informal title of “the urban champion” after decades, and its parliamentary standing from the city has reduced to the second spot with four NA and 14 PA seats.

The third position is of the PPP, which has two NA seats and six PA seats.

However, the party continues to hold sway in rural Sindh and seems likely to form the next — the party’s third consecutive — provincial government.

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