Notices issued to MQM, PPP MNAs on pleas against poll results

Jamal Khurshid
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

An election tribunal of the Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Farooq Sattar and Pakistan People Party (PPP) MNA Nabeel Gabol on the petitions challenging the election results of Karachi’s National Assembly constituencies NA-244 and NA-239.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates Aftab Jehangir and Yasir Baloch had challenged the election results of NA-244 and NA-239, claiming that the returning officers had manipulated the consolidated results, and that according to Form 45, they had obtained the highest number of votes in their respective constituencies.

The petitioners’ counsel said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had failed to upload Form 45 for the polling stations of the constituencies to its website, disregarding the legal requirement to do so within 14 days of polling, as stipulated in Section 92(10) of the Elections Act.

The counsel said that Form 45 had been tampered with in the favour of the respondent candidates, and that votes cast in favour of the petitioners had been suspiciously transferred in favour of the MQM’s and the PPP’s candidates, effectively revising the electoral income in favour of the respondents.

He said that the ECP’s failure to detect and rectify these discrepancies in a timely manner raises serious questions about the efficacy of the electoral oversight mechanism in place, calling into question the integrity of the entire electoral process.

He also said that the failure of the election officers to conduct the consolidation in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Elections Act and rules has a put a mark upon the fairness of the polls conducted in the constituencies.

The tribunal was requested to withdraw and set aside the notification with regard to declaring the respondents returned candidates, and restrain them from attending the NA session until the decision of the petitions. After the preliminary hearing of the petitions, the election tribunal issued notices to the ECP, and the MQM and PPP MNAs, telling them to file their comments on May 7.