ECP under fire over NA-120 result: Yasmin wants to verify 29,000 votes

Yasmin

News Analysis | 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to withhold the result of NA-120 till the issue of 29,000 unverified votes is resolved, thus opening up another front between the ECP and the PTI. The top election body is currently carrying out hearings on the foreign funding and contempt cases against the party and Imran Khan.

In order to clear the air, the ECP has to act to ensure that a state institution is not seen in favor of the ruling government and not providing a fair platform for opposition parties

Dr. Yasmin Rashid, who lost the by-election by a thin margin of 14,000 votes requested the ECP to verify 29,000 votes. “We have been contesting this issue for 10 days in the ECP and also moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) on the matter. Justice Ayesha Malik had also directed the commission to verify all votes with NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) data but the ECP did not pay attention to the court orders,” she said while addressing a press conference on Monday.

“Over 29,000 voters on the list neither had family numbers nor Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers,” she added further.

Read more: NA: 120 – PMLN’s Strategic Defeat &…

The ECP did not raise objections as to why Governor Sind, Muhammad Zubair visited the polling stations. As did, Provincial Minister Rana Mashood who visited along with his entourage carrying weapons

By and large, there were no complaints of major slip-ups on the polling day but the opposition, both PTI and PPP had shown reservations regarding pre-poll rigging and over the manner of campaigning and the use of state machinery by the incumbent government.

Dr. Yasmin Rashid went on to say that as per the Constitution she approached the ECP and if the body does not settle the matter she will go to court. “As many as 25 petitions are pending at different forums. How the commission can announce the result of NA-120 by-polls,” she asked while adding that she would approach Justice Ayesha Malik on the matter.

She questioned the partisan role played by the ECP. “A couple of days before the polling, when PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced his plan to visit Data Darbar, the ECP directed the Lahore deputy commissioner to bar all rallies on The Mall road. The ECP has played a partisan role in the NA-120 by-election, as the ruling party carried out in the constituency development projects costing around Rs1 billion after the announcement of the election schedule,” she iterated.

Read more: Strengthening PML-N factions after NA-120?

Dr. Yasmin Rashid went on to say that as per the Constitution she approached the ECP and if the body does not settle the matter she will go to court

The ECP did not raise objections as to why Governor Sind, Muhammad Zubair visited the polling stations. As did, Provincial Minister Rana Mashood who visited along with his entourage carrying weapons.

Dr. Yasmin accused that ministers had promised jobs, bribed voters and spent millions of rupees from the public exchequer to buy voters and the election for the former first lady and ruling party candidate Kulsoom Nawaz.

Imran Khan has time and again accused the ECP of being in cahoots with the ruling party. The by-election was being tipped as a litmus test for the ECP; if this issue is not settled more eyebrows will be raised. In order to clear the air, the ECP has to act to ensure that a state institution is not seen in favor of the ruling government and not providing a fair platform for opposition parties.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here