The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) leader Saeed Ghani has lambasted Pakistan Muslim League’s (PML-N) accusations that PPP won the NA-249 by-election through rigging.
“The PML-N lost the NA-249 by-election owing to its own mismanagement and overconfidence,” said the minister, addressing a press conference on Sunday.
Saeed’s press conference came a few days after the NA-240 by-election was held in Karachi, where PPP’s Qadir Mandokhail emerged victorious.
“Anyone who has ever contested an election knows that whenever a polling agent contests a vote, there is a fee for that,” he said. “I don’t know the amount of the fee, but it must be a few hundred rupees. That is what our polling agents had,” he said, rejecting claims the PPP’s polling agents had handed out bribes.
The minister said PML-N leaders were promoting the video and were claiming it was proof that the PPP had bought the NA-249 victory through its polling agents.
On allegations that he somehow got ahold of the election results before they came out, Ghani said he had tweeted the numbers that were available to him from the form 45 issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“This is very strange. Not a word of protest was said when the PML-N candidate was in the lead and when the voting process was underway,” he said. “It was after the election concluded and the results were announced that everyone started complaining.”
He said the PML-N had no right to raise a hue and cry about the election results, adding that it was strange that no one bothered to raise their voices when the PPP candidate was trailing behind Miftah Ismail.
ECP accepts Miftah’s request for vote recount
On Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) accepted PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail’s request for a vote recount in NA 249 constituency by-election.
Miftah has written a letter to the chief election commissioner seeking a vote recount. The PML-N has also requested the ECP to conduct a forensic audit of the votes.
Miftah wrote that presiding officers from 34 polling stations did not send him results on WhatsApp.
“We did not receive results from more than 30 polling stations. We have serious concerns about the behaviour of some presiding officers,” he said, adding that many Form 45 were not signed.
He said the returning officer was not following the law and not directing a recount of votes despite minor difference in votes. He said that the RO did not provide the result summary according to the polling stations.
Miftah asked the CEC to stop the ECP from finalising the results and recount votes. He alleged that the RO has shown bias by rejecting all their requests as more than half of the Form 45 were not signed by the RO.
The PPP won by-election held on Thursday in the Karachi city’s District West.
According to unofficial results, PPP’s Abdul Qadir Mandokhel bagged 16,156 votes as against PML-N’s Miftah Ismail 15,473.