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August 1, 2018

PPP, MMA protest ‘rigging’ in elections


August 1, 2018

PESHAWAR: The activists of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and independent candidates on Friday staged a protest against the alleged rigging in the July 25 general election.

In Bannu, PPP candidate for NA-48 Malik Ghulam Khan rejected the election results and demanded a re-election.

Speaking at a press conference, he said about 45,000 people from his constituency had migrated to various places of the province due to the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and they could not cast vote.

Malik Ghulam Khan said that around 8,000 temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) were residing in Bakakhel camp. He said the TDPs could not cast ballots.

He said the polling stations had been established at far-flung areas where the voters could not go. The candidate added that only five percent women could cast vote.

Malik Ghulam Khan asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declare the election as null and void as 10 percent participants of the women voters was mandatory.

He alleged that the election was rigged and demanded a re-election in the constituency.

In Dera Ismail Khan: MMA provincial leader Maulana Obaidur Rehman said the alliance would not accept the result of the election as it was heavily rigged in favour of a particular political party.

He was speaking at a protest rally at the GPO Chowk against the alleged rigging in the recently held general election. Some hidden forces wanted to destabilise the country, he added.

Led by Maulana Ubaidur Rehman, Ahmad Kamran, Maulana Kifayatullah and Chaudhry Ashfaq, the protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the ECP.

“The election was rigged to pave the ways for a secular political party in the Parliament but the MMA leadership would never let it succeed,” Maulana Ubaid added.

The losing candidates in Hangu blocked the main Hangu-Kohat road for three hours in protest against alleged rigging.

Addressing the protesters near the Hangu Press Club, MMA’s losing candidates for NA-33 Attiqur Rehman and Mufti Obaidullah and Jehanzeb chanted slogans against alleged discrepancies.

The losing candidate alleged that the election was rigged to favour the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He said he didn’t accept the results and urged the ECP to declare the election null and void.

He alleged that their polling agents were not provided Form-45 and were expelled from the polling stations to manipulate the results.

The candidate said that there was no need to spend billions of rupees on the election if one person was favoured. They rejected the results and demanded to declare the elections null and void.

At Mardan, hundreds of activist of PPP, MMA staged a protest rally outside the Mardan Press Club against the results of 2018 general election.

The rally was led by PPP leader and candidate for NA-20 former federal minister Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, PPP provincial council member and candidate for NA-21 Syed Abid Ali Shah, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) district president and MMA candidate for NA-20 Dr Attaur Rehman, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) provincial general secretary and MMA candidate for NA-21 Maulana Shujaul Mulk and others.

Addressing the protesters, the speakers alleged the 2108 election was rigged as there were several irregularities in the polling process.

They said that the turnout in the majority of the constituencies was low.

The protesters raised questions on the transparency of the electoral process and said that the 2018 election was rigged and there was no such example in the history of Pakistan.

They added that first terror was created among the people in the province and later irregularities and rigging was conducted in the polling.

The protesters declared the 2018 election not election rather it was the selection.

They said the establishment wanted to make Imran Khan the prime minister at all costs.

The protesters alleged that the polling agents were either expelled from the polling stations at the time of counting or denied certified results by the polling staff.

They added that according to the results, one vote was polled in 5 seconds which was impossible.

The protesters criticised the ECP and questioned the inordinate delay in the official announcement of the results.

They added that the ECP had failed to conduct the free and transparent election.

The protester rejected the results and said that the election was a big blow to the democratic system in the country.

They demanded free and transparent election should be conducted again without the alleged interference of security forces.

The protesters said they would not rest until the election was declared null and void and re-election ordered.