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Why JUI-F wants a vote recount in NA-45 Kurram constituency

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wants a vote recount for the recently held by-polls in the NA-45 Kurram constituency. PTI's Malik Fakharuzaman won the recent by-polls in NA-45.

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Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wants a vote recount for the recently held by-polls in the NA-45 Kurram constituency. JUI-F’s Munir Khan Orakzai won the National Assembly seat in the July 2018 general elections. It fell vacant after his death from coronavirus.

PTI’s Malik Fakharuzaman won the recent by-polls in NA-45. But JUI-F Information Secretary Abdul Jalil Jan alleged that PTI had rigged the by-polls.

He addressed a press conference outside the Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday with the party’s deputy general secretary Ahmad Saeed and information secretary Qari Jehad Shah Afridi. The JUI-F leaders rejected the NA-45 Kurram by-poll result.

Jan said JUI-F candidate Mohammad Jamil had won the seat, but was declared the loser.

He alleged that the local administration, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), returning officers, district returning officers and presiding officers were involved in defeating the JUI-F candidate.

The JUI-F leader claimed that the people in Kurram had once again reposed confidence in his party and its candidate in the February 19 by-election.

He said this constituency was a stronghold of the JUI-F and its candidate was leading in 120 polling stations till late night apart from maintaining his lead on 14 polling stations, but the result was changed in favour of the PTI candidate.

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JUI-F submitted an application for a vote recount on February 20, but the party leaders said it is not “being honoured”.

Jan said JUI-F will launch a protest movement if there is no vote recount.

The voting in by-elections for the National Assembly seat of NA-45, Kurram tribal district, and the provincial assembly seat of PK-63, Nowshera, concluded peacefully.

In Kurram tribal district, polling for NA-45 started at 8am and continued uninterrupted till 5pm. The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of JUI-F MNA Munir Khan Orakzai.

The turnout of male voters was impressive compared to the women’s participation, especially in central Kurram. DPO Tahir Iqbal said security personnel and police were deployed at all the 134 polling stations in the tribal district, adding the overall election process remained peaceful.

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He said lady constables were also deputed at various polling stations. A total of 27 candidates were vying for NA-45 seat. The main contestants included Fakhr Zaman of PTI, Jamil Chamkani of JUI-F and independent candidate Said Jamal.