ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday accepted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail’s application challenging the NA-249 Karachi by-polls. The ECP fixed the hearing for May 4.
The ECP order said that the by-election for NA-249 had been held on April 29 and the provisional result was announced the next day by the returning officer (RO).
It noted that Ismail – the PML-N candidate – had submitted an application that same day the provisional results were announced for a recount which was subsequently dismissed by the RO on May 1.
It said that Ismail has now submitted an application under Section 95(6) of the Elections Act, 2017 before the commission wherein he has requested for a complete recount of the entire constituency.
The petitioner has further contended that there is a difference in the total votes recorded in Form-45 and Form-47, it said, adding the petitioner has also submitted an application for the forensic audit of Form-45 with WhatsApp/RTS on April 30.
It further noted that consolidation of the result had not yet been completed.
“The margin of victory is less than five per cent of the total votes polled in the constituency or 10,000 votes whichever is less in accordance with the provisions of Section 95 (5) of the (Elections) Act, the Commission is satisfied that prima facie case exists for intervention, and therefore stay the consolidation process,” added the order.
Meanwhile, federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has called for a re-election in the constituency.
The minister said that the turnout in the by-election had been low and only 21 per cent of registered voters had cast their votes.
Chaudhry said that the winning candidate securing less than 5 percent of the total registered votes was not a "true reflection of democratic norm".
Prime Minister Imran Khan, he added, was the only leader who had repeatedly stressed the need to reach a consensus on electoral reforms and invited political parties to discuss the issue. He said that if the opposition was not ready for electoral forms then it shouldn't make a hue and cry.
PPP's Qadir Khan Mandokhail had won the NA-249 by-election in Karachi after securing 16,156 votes, according to the provisional results released on Friday while Ismail had come in second with 15,473 votes. The PML-N and the PTI had cried foul and subsequently rejected the results.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021