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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shaukat Basra has said that the ‘fraudsters’ have stolen the people’s mandate; hence, he demanded immediate resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference on Monday; he was flanked by a large number of PTI-backed candidates claiming to have won the recent elections in their respective constituencies. All the losing candidates felt cheated and showed Form-45 as a proof of their victory.

Basra observed that the denial of the party symbol ‘bat’ made the ground for the rigging, adding that the ‘fake chief minister’ along with her ‘fake legislators’ were elected in the Punjab Assembly. He claimed that Maryam Nawaz had lost the election to PTI-backed candidate Meher Sharafat. He averred that they (PML-N) claimed that a deal had been made (with the establishment). “Today, Pakistan was being ridiculed after the farce elections. There will be chaos in the country and subsequently, its economy will deteriorate and become unmanageable,” he added.

He castigated the Sharif family for taking turns (in the prime minister’s office); they are “seasoned money launderers”. He claimed that the PTI has a two-thirds majority in the Punjab Assembly after winning 250 seats. “Hence, we will call an Assembly’s session, which will be attended by our elected candidates, and we will elect a chief minister, a speaker and a deputy speaker,” he added.

Talking about the rigging claims of former commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Ali Chattha, Basra said that he (Chattha) took the name of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Chief Election Commissioner; thus, they requested the Chief Justice to constitute a full court and recuse himself from it. “The full court proceedings should be shown live on TV,” he added.

Moreover, PTI leader Naeem Haider Panjutha told media that their candidates were leading the polls with a margin of over 100,000 votes in PP 71 and still he lost the election. He also claimed his voters registered in his constituency were transferred to other constituencies while their polling agents were not allowed access (to the polling stations) so that the results could be rigged in the evening. “Also, in my constituency all ballot boxes were broken; when ‘they’ realised that I was leading the polls, the final result was altered to declare my opponent victorious by 5,000 votes,” he added. He also complained that they have filed petitions against rigging at various platforms but all have been rejected.

PTI-backed candidate Ruba Omar also claimed, “My results were rigged to defeat me; I had a lead of 20,000 votes till midnight, but by the next morning, the results were rigged and we had lost the elections.” She added that they have filed complaints against the rigging and they will continue with our legal battle.

Another PTI-backed candidate, Awais Anjum, claimed that according to his Form 45, he bagged 33,000 votes while his opponent managed 32,000 votes. He pointed out that this was the constituency where the PTI’s vote bank was less than his opponent’s, but still in the recent elections the people came out to vote for the PTI founder chairman. He claimed that like his opponent Wasim Qadir, “some people tried to manage me, but I flatly refused, which was the cause behind his defeat”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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