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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up a petition seeking to declare the February 8 general elections null and void and hold fresh elections within 30 days, on Monday (February 19).

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Mussarat Hilali, will hear the petition of a citizen, Brigadier Ali Khan (retd).

The petitioner has prayed to the court to order fresh elections within 30 days and cited the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government as respondents.

COG unveils its initial findings on general polls

The plea seeks general elections under the supervision and oversight of the judiciary “to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability”. The petition also seeks a stay order on the formation of the new government till the case is resolved.

The petitioner claimed that the general elections 2024 were marred by gross violations of democratic principles, including the denial of a level playing field to all political parties, particularly the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The run-up to the elections witnesses widespread pre-poll rigging, with the PTI candidates facing numerous obstacles and restrictions in their campaign efforts. The ban on rallies and public gatherings for PTI, along with the prohibition on campaigning and voter persuasion, deprived the party of its fundamental right to engage with the electorate and present its vision and policies.

He further submitted that on Election Day, despite the significant turnout of voters in support of PTI, the announcement of polling results was unnecessarily delayed by returning officers, raising serious concerns about the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. The subsequent revelation of widespread rigging and manipulation, resulting in the fraudulent defeat of numerous PTI candidates, further undermines the credibility of the election outcome.

In the country’s general elections held on February 8, PTI-supported independent candidates secured 92 seats, PML-N obtained 75, and PPP secured 54 seats. Various political parties and losing candidates have raised allegations of fraud in the polls.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

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Hasan Adam Feb 17, 2024 10:31am
Electronic voting system should be implement now. This is a right time.
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Johnny Walker Feb 17, 2024 03:18pm
How is the SC going to proceed in this matter as the final results are yet to be published? Seems very odd.
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