Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday challenged the result of PP-7 Rawalpindi result in the by-polls, Dunya News reported.
It said PTI has submitted an application to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in that regard.
In this constituency, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Raja Sagheer Ahmad secured victory by obtaining 68,906 votes. In comparison, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Col M Shabbir Awan bagged 68,857 votes to remain second.
According to the unofficial results, the former PM-led PTI bagged 15 seats, while PML-N could only secure four seats on Sunday.
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PTI now has 178 seats in the provincial assembly, while PML-N has 167.
PTI Chief Imran Khan said the Punjab government rigged the election using state machinery and arrested PTI leaders.
In a tweet, he said the ECP has turned a blind eye, but the “Courts must open now and act.”
Today Punjab govt has brazenly violated SC orders & election rules by openly using all govt/State machinery to rig Punjab elections through illegal ballot stamping & harrassing voters while arresting PTI ldrs. Through it all ECP turned a blind eye. Courts must open now & act.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 17, 2022
PTI leader Shireen Mazari alleged that the PP-7 fell victim to “PML-N and handlers post poll rigging abetted by the biased ECP.”
Taking to Twitter, she said, “Despite results so far from polling stations show PTI candidate winning. But now usual RTS failure and other tactics [are] being used with handmaiden Maryam Auranzen suddenly declaring victory. Shameful!”
“Now the RO [is] refusing to announce results and have taken over the boxes behind closed doors. We are not going to tolerate such brazen efforts at rigging,” she said.
So PP 7 falls victim to PMLN & handlers post poll rigging abetted by biased ECP. Despite results so far from polling stations show PTI candidate winning. But now usual RTS failure and other tactics being used with handmaiden Maryam Auranzen suddenly declaring victory. Shameful!
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) July 17, 2022
Meanwhile, Asad Umar said the PP-7 results were being withheld and asked the party workers to “stay at the polling stations and where the results have not been finalized and the RO office.”
PP 7 results being withheld. This last minute attempt to change result will not be allowed to happen. Our teams must remain at the pollling stations where the results have not been finalized and the RO office. Akhri ball tak focused rahna hai aur result ley kar uthna hai.
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) July 17, 2022
In some polling stations, the PTI workers alleged that the ruling party candidate “bribed people through cash and flour.” However, the PML-N rejected the allegations.
Former MNA and PTI spokesman Sadaqat Ali Abbasi told Dawn that polling remained peaceful. Still, the police and the ECP staff allegedly forced people to vote against the former ruling party.
“By afternoon, the PTI supporters came out in large numbers from Kahuta to cast a vote in favour of Imran Khan’s candidate,” he said.
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On the other hand, PML-N Metropolitan President Sardar Naseem and Tahira Aurangzeb alongside local office-bearers also visited the constituency.
“The election remained peaceful, and no violent incidents were reported in Kahuta and Kallar Syedan till evening,” said former mayor Sardar Naseem while talking to Dawn.
“There is no evidence of rigging in PP-7 as the government believed in fair and free elections,” he said while rejecting rigging allegations leveled by the PTI. He added that the party tried bringing people from small villages to poll votes.
District Election Commissioner Roy Sultan Bhatty said that the election commission received some “minor complaints” regarding the irregularities in voting. However, these issues were resolved with the help of local party leaders, he added.
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“No major clash was witnessed. The election commission provided ample opportunity to the people to use their right to choose [MPA] without any fear,” he said.
With input from Dawn