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Pakistan

PML-N, PTI boycott recounting of votes in NA-249

  • PTI and PML-N say the ECP has not provided them Form 45 and 46
  • ECP says the vote recounting will continue despite a boycott by major political parties
  • On May 4, the ECP ordered recounting of votes in the NA-249 constituency by-poll.
Updated 06 May 2021

(Karachi) All political parties except Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the Election Commission of Pakistan's ruling of recounting of votes in NA-249 over non-provision of Form 45 and 46, local media reported on Thursday.

As per details, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pak Sarzameen Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, and other political parties, except PPP boycotted the recounting.

Talking to media persons outside the Election Commission Office, PTI’s Amjad Afridi said they have been demanding the ECP to provide details of Form 45 and 46 but in vain. He added that recounting of votes is not acceptable till the ECP provides them Form 45 and 46.

Afridi claimed the votes bags brought for recounting were even not sealed.

Similarly, PML-N’s Miftah Ismail claimed that were denied provision of Form 45 and 46 by the officials at the election commission. “We are not provided with the record of used and unused ballot papers.”

The first bag opened for recounting was unsealed and upon asking the officials replied the seal might have been broken while transporting the bags, Miftah claimed.

He said the audit cannot be carried out without the provision of Form 46, I don’t know why Form 46 is not being given to them?

Meanwhile, the ECP said the vote recounting in the NA-249 constituency will continue despite a boycott by major political parties.

The ECP has clarified that according to the chief election commissioner's order issued on the PML-N’s petition, the commission is bound to recount only the votes that were polled and rejected.

“Despite the boycott, the recount process will be completed as per the order,” the ECP officials said. They added that political parties are demanding data that is not possible to retrieve.

On May 4, the ECP ordered recounting of votes in the NA-249 constituency by-poll.

The ECP had reserved a verdict on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Miftah Ismail’s plea, in which he sought a recount in the NA-249 Karachi by-poll.

Presenting arguments, PML-N’s counsel Salman Akram Raja stated that a large number of Form 45 were not duly signed by the presiding officers, while agents of PML-N were also not given Form 46.

He demanded the ECP to initiate an inquiry into the irregularities that surfaced in the Karachi by-poll. He said that the PML-N will file a separate plea seeking re-polling in NA-249.