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LAHORE: Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq has rejected the election results as ‘massively rigged’, calling for the resignation of the chief election commissioner and the formation of an independent commission to probe into the entire poll process.

Speaking at a press conference in Mansoorah on Saturday, he highlighted the ‘theft’ of the people’s mandate in Karachi in favour of the MQM, despite some ‘independent surveys’ indicating a close competition between JI and PTI-backed candidates.

Warning the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to rectify the results or face protests, he also urged independents to join JI’s demonstrations. He said the JI could extend the protest to the ECP head-office in Islamabad if its demands were not met.

Expressing concern over rigging in Punjab in favour of the PML-N, Haq contended that the election outcome was manipulated, questioning the legitimacy of the government formed through such means.

He criticised the ECP for failing in its constitutional duty to ensure free and fair elections. The general elections should have been held in 2023 but the ECP desperately failed to meet the deadline period for general elections as per the constitution.

Haq also raised issues surrounding the closure of internet and mobile services on Election Day, the much-delayed announcement of official results, and the lack of a level playing field for all contestants. He asserted that the flawed 2024 elections mirrored historical patterns, warning of increased polarisation.

However, accepting defeat in his own constituency, Haq congratulated the winning candidate.

He vowed the JI would continue its struggle for the right of the people and towards establishment of the rule of law and justice. He appreciated the JI candidates and workers for their efforts during the election campaign. He thanked the voters on posing confidence in the JI. He announced plans to visit Karachi to engage with the city’s residents and party members, formulating a strategy for future protests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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