- MMA holds protest in KP over alleged ‘rigging’
- ANP to protest against vote manipulation on Monday
As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged the largest party in the July 25 polls, the requests for vote recount of some candidates were rejected and protest rallies were taken out by the defeated political parties against alleged rigging and manipulation during the election.
A petition for votes recount by former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was rejected by the returning officer for ex-premier’s home constituency NA-57. Shahid Khaqan had received 124,705 votes against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, who secured 136,249 votes.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also requested for a votes recount in NA-249 Karachi, but his request was turned down stating that objections should have been raised by the polling agent during the election process.
Shehbaz Sharif received 34,626 votes but lost by a narrow margin to PTI’s Faisal Vawda, who won by securing 35,344 votes. Shehbaz Sharif also lost from NA-3 Swat, NA-192 Dera Ghazi Khan but won from NA-132 Lahore.
Moreover, Protest rallies were organised on the appeal of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman after he suffered a crumbling defeat at the hands of PTI candidates. Among others, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq also suffered a likely defeat in the election.
Demonstrations were organised in Dera Ismail Khan, Orakzai, Buner, Lakki Marwat, Mardan, Malakand, Battagram, Karak and Lower Dir.
The protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway, the land route between Pakistan and China, for traffic for more than five hours to protest against alleged rigging and manipulation of the election results. Hundreds of activists of various religious parties took out a protest rally from a mosque in the Peshawar city that turned into a big public meeting at Bajauri Gate.
The protesters were carrying placards and banners and chanted slogans against the Election Commission of Pakistan, caretaker setup and the other state institutions.
Addressing the protesters, the speakers alleged that billions of rupees were wasted on the rigged elections, adding that the judiciary should clear its position in that regard. They termed the polls a big fraud in the history of Pakistan as results were manipulated.
The speakers urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of what they said massive rigging in the elections. They alleged that foreign agenda was being imposed on the nation.
In Battagram, workers of Rah-e-Haq Party and MMA blocked Karakoram Highway to register their protest against the alleged fraud in the elections. The candidates who lost polls in the PK-29 constituency and their supporters led the rally, raising slogans.
In Lakki Marwat, the district chapter of JUI-F took out a rally in Naurang town to record their protest against alleged rigging in the elections.
In Buner, JUI-F workers staged a demonstration in front of the press club against the alleged rigging in the elections. The protesters said that they would not accept the poll results.
In Timergara, MMA losing candidates Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, Maulana Asadullah, Muzafar Said and others rejected the results of the election and demanded of the ECP to hold re-polling on all constituencies of KP.
The demand was made during different protest rallies at Chakdara and Talash which were attended by scores of MMA supporters.
The MMA candidates said that election was rigged and its results were made controversial.
Meanwhile, Awami National Party (ANP) central president Asfandyar Wali Khan has rejected the election results in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over alleged rigging and announced that his party would hold peaceful protests in all district headquarters of the province on July 30 (Monday).
Accusing the trio of ECP, army and caretaker government of keeping Pakhtun leaders out of the National Assembly, the ANP leader said that they all would sit together afterwards to finalise a future course of action.
Accompanied by ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and other leaders, who suffered defeat in the recent elections, Asfandyar said that in 2013, terrorists had tried to keep his party out of elections but this time around, that was done by the ‘trio’ of the ECP, Pakistan Army and the caretaker government.
In a veiled reference to the PTI and its chairman Imran Khan, the ANP chief said the elections were rigged to favour one party, especially its leader.
Asfandyar and his son, Aimal Wali Khan, have lost elections in their home district, Charsadda. Other key leaders of the party, including Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and Syed Aqil Shah, also failed to win elections in their respective constituencies.
The ANP chief said that all Pakhtun leaders would discuss the future course of action against election rigging and for re-election.