Pak elections: As PTI gains lead, others cry foul; call polls “rigged”
Islamabad, July 26: As Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gained lead over the others, former ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and other outfits expressed deep reservations over the delay in the release of official results of Wednesday (July 25) polls held at the federal and provincial levels. They also alleged expulsion of their polling agents during the counting of votes, Pakistani media reports said.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted, saying the situation was "inexcusable and outrageous" alleging that he was not updated on the official results of any of the seats he contested even after midnight. PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is spearheading the party's campaign this time in the absence of his more charismatic brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said they rejected the result alleging that their agents were also being expelled.
It’s now past midnight & I haven’t received official results from any constituency I am contesting my myself. My candidates complaining polling agents have been thrown out of polling stations across the country. Inexcusable & outrageous.— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) July 25, 2018
Other leaders also brought same allegations, saying it was a serious issue violating the electoral procedure. They appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan to address the complaints brought over alleged electoral malfunctioning.
PPP's Raza Rabbani also said if the will of the people was "manipulated in this way, there will be serious consequences".
We will use all political and legal options for redressal of these glaring excesses. This is an outright rigging and the results based on massive rigging will cause irreparable damage to the country.— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 25, 2018
One Independent candidate Jibran Nasir tweeted past midnight that the counting did not even begin at polling station GBS Zamzama and accused the presiding officer of screaming at him, Dawn reported.
MQM-Pakistan's Fauisal Subzwari said the polling officials in three constituencies in Karachi and two constituencies in Sindh Hyderabad refused to cooperate with his party's agents.
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said he will call an All Parties Conference over the "rigged" election results.
The election commission, however, denied the allegations and said that every procedure was being followed as per the rules.
The PTI was leading in 114 seats after 47 per cent of votes polled was counted on Thursday morning, after 24 hours since the polling started, while PML-N was leading in 64 and PPP in 43 seats.