Pakistan

PTI moves ECP against alleged pre-poll rigging in Punjab by-elections

  • Fawad Chaudhry says Hamza Shehbaz will not remain CM Punjab after July 22
Published July 13, 2022

The PTI on Wednesday filed a petition in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), alleging that the Punjab government was engaged in pre-poll rigging ahead of the by-elections scheduled for July 17 in the province, Aaj News reported.

The petition, filed by PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan, alleges that the voter lists of the constituencies where elections are being held have been altered.

The petitioner also claims that government officials are assisting the PML-N candidates in their efforts to win the incoming by-polls.

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“Section 39(2) of the election act 2017 clearly states that revisions, transfers, addition, or deletion of voter lists are not permitted in an electoral area that has been called for an election,” the petition read.

“…it is the election commission's foremost duty to conduct free, fair, and impartial elections, yet the voter list has been altered and the voters have been reshuffled, which is in complete violation of the election Commission Act 2017,” it said.

Giving an example of the alleged pre-poll rigging in PP-140 constituency, the petition said: "In this constituency, final electoral roll/voters list issued, dated May 20, was after the announcement of [the] election schedule, which again is a violation of the law."

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The petition stated that the total number of voters as per the lists issued in 2018 and 2020 was 2,239 and 2,875, respectively, which rose to 5,573 in May 2022. "This sudden increase is ambiguous and casts serious doubts on the transparency of [the] upcoming by-elections," it said.

The PTI further alleged that a district police officer (DPO), Dr. Ghias Gill, has been deployed in Jhang for the purpose of “pre-poll rigging”.

"A prime example is of DC Rajanpur, who can be seen campaigning with PML-N candidates which is a clear violation of both ethics and Section 187 of the Election Commission Act, 2017."

After PTI filed the petition, the party leader Fawad Chaudhry addressed a press conference in Lahore.

During the address, he reiterated the PTI’s claim that pre-poll rigging was being conducted.

Explaining the government’s maneuvers, he claimed that the provincial government was trying to depict it as though it was receiving "orders from somewhere else."

"The establishment should beware of the snakes up their sleeves such as Attaullah Tarar and Rana Sanaullah. They are carrying out [raids] and putting it on the establishment."

Fawad further claimed that Hamza Shehbaz would not remain Chief Minister after July 22.

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MKA Jul 13, 2022 07:33pm
PTI alleges that the Punjab government was engaged in pre-poll rigging. ALLEGE: Make an accusation or assertion without any proof. I think these PTI members need to be sent to MENTAL HOSPITAL.
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