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NA-249 by-election: ECP rejects PML-N, PTI pleas for vote recount

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday turned down pleas of PTI and PML-N candidates seeking recounting of votes cast in Thursday’s NA-249 Karachi by-election.

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday turned down pleas of PTI and PML-N candidates seeking recounting of votes cast in Thursday’s NA-249 Karachi by-election.

The commission’s returning officer (RO) dismissed the election petitions filed by PTI’s Amjad Afridi and PML-N’s Miftah Ismail.

Afridi in his petition raised objections to the results of 21 polling stations of the National Assembly constituency in Karachi and alleged rigging at at least two polling stations.

He requested the commission to order recounting of votes cast in the by-poll and conduct a probe into rigging charges.

Miftah Ismail pointed out discrepancies in Form-45 and Form-47, calling for recounting of ballots. He wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner to have his grievance redressed after the RO rejected his vote recount plea.

PPP’s Abdul Qadir Mandokhail won the election by securing 16,150 votes, according to unofficial results. PML-N’s Miftah Ismail was the runner-up with 15,473 votes. Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s Mufti Nazeer Kamalvi clinched third position with 11,125 votes, followed by Mustafa Kamal of the PSP who bagged 9,227 votes.

Amjad Afridi secured 8,922 votes while Hafiz Mursaleen of the MQM 7,511.

Notably, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Friday alleged the NA-249 by-election was stolen from the party after unofficial results showed PPP’s Qadir Khan Mandokhail winning the election by a margin of just 683 votes.

The unofficial election results were announced after 11 hours while the voter turnout was measured at 21.64%.

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In a statement on Twitter, Maryam said the election was stolen from PML-N by only a few hundred votes. “ECP must withhold the results of one of the most disputed & controversial elections. Even if it doesn’t, this victory will be temporary and will Insha’Allah come back to PML-N soon.”

She added that the “vote is getting respect and will continue to receive it”.

Later, PML-N leader and former PM Nawaz Sharif’s spokesperson, Mohammad Zubair said the party would challenge the election results and added that the results of 80 polling stations had been altered. “We have requested the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard,” he said.

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