QUETTA: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday declared member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Ahmed Ali Kohzad’s victory in the recently held general elections null and void, and ordered that re-polling be held in Quetta’s PB-26 constituency from where Kohzad had contested.
Hazara Democratic Party’s (HDP) Kohzad had received 5,117 votes in the July 25 polls against Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) runner up Wali Muhammad’s 3,242 votes.
The lawyers for both candidates were present before the ECP’s two-member commission headed by Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro as the decision was announced.
According to a report, Punjab ECP member Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi mentioned a writ petition that had been submitted to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) by Wali Muhammad against Kohzad’s election, alleging that he was an Afghan national. Separately, Kohzad himself had also challenged the blocking of his computerised national identity card (NIC) by the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) in the BHC.
Soomro said that Kohzad is an Afghan national, a basis on which the PB-26 poll could be declared null and void.
In an earlier hearing, the Quetta deputy commissioner (DC) had submitted a report in court saying that the HDP leader was an Afghan national.
Wali Muhammad’s lawyer, while saying that the BHC had already issued notices to the parties involved in the case, requested that the runner-up be declared the winner.
The ECP, however, rejected his request. “How can we impose you on those who have not given you a vote?” asked Altaf Qureshi.
Qureshi added that there was no provision within the law for declaring a runner-up as the winner after the elected candidate was disqualified. Subsequently, the ECP declared Kohzad’s election null and void and ordered re-polling in PB-26.