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PPP decides to oppose vote recount in NA-249 result

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to oppose recount of votes in NA-249 by-polls after a petition from PML-N challenging the results has been taken up by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for May 04.
The PPP lawyers and candidate, Qadir Khan Madokhel, who secured victory on the seat, will submit their reply before the ECP on a petition from PML-N’s Miftah Ismail. The PPP in its request will seek to reject the PML-N’s plea for a vote recount and would take a plea that as per the law, only rejected votes could be recounted.
The PML-N has not given evidence of rigging at a single polling station and their request for a recount is against the rules and procedures, the PPP request to be submitted before the election commission would plead. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Miftah Ismail has requested the chief election commissioner (CEC) to take emergency steps for taking custody of the NA-249 by-election record.
Miftah Ismail has sought emergency action by CEC to seize sealed ballot papers and other election material used in NA-249 by-polls. He stated in its plea that the election material should be kept at a secure location until the emergence of the final result of the by-polls. He demanded CEC to keep the election material in a safe location under the supervision of Rangers or Pakistan Army. He thanked the Election Commission of Pakistan for issuing a stay order on the results of NA-249 by-election.
Ismail claimed that the majority of presiding officers (POs) and election staff belong to the Sindh government which illegally supported the provincial government and each political party has registered their complaints against it.
Earlier on Saturday, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) released its report on the NA-249 by-election in which it said that 143 violations of election laws were reported during the April 29 by-poll in the Karachi constituency. “The NA-249 Karachi West-II by-election on April 29 saw a substantial decline in voter turnout, mainly due to the hot weather and Ramzan,” according to a report.

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