Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Saturday alleged that the NA-249 (Karachi West II constituency) by-polls were rigged. He called on opposition parties for electoral reforms after all parties started claiming the election was rigged. The Election Commission of Pakistan issued a stay order withholding results of the by-polls. An application submitted by Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) candidate Miftah Ismail seeking a recount is due for a hearing on May 4. Ismail also requested the EC to conduct a forensic audit of the votes.
PM Khan has said the votes were rigged despite a low voter turnout.
Ismail said the party (PML-N) did not receive results from more than 30 polling stations; We have serious concerns about the behaviour of some presiding officers.” he added.
He also said that several Form 45s weren’t signed and that the vote count on Form 45 wasn’t the same as the one issues by the returning officer.
As per the ECP's order, “Since the consolidation of result has not yet been done and as the margin of victory is less than 5 per cent of the total votes polled in the constituency or 10,000 votes whichever is less per the provisions of Section 95 of the Act, therefore; the Commission is satisfied that prima facie case exists for intervention, and therefore stays the consolidation process”. Members of the Election Commission— Nisar Ahmad Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi issued the order. The order also noted that in the application Ismail, he had requested for a complete recount of the entire constituency.
"In fact, apart from the 1970 election, in every election claims of rigging have raised doubts over the credibility of election results," PM Khan tweeted.
Pakistan People’s Party candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel bagged victory by securing 16,156 votes, while Ismail secured 15,473 votes. As per the Pakistan EC, voter turnout was at 21 per cent. “Everyone knew the situation of Pakistan People’s Party, and all parties have criticized the victory of its candidate. The losing party in every election criticizes the winner, and demands re-election,” Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said. HE also said that PM Imran Khan is the only leader who urged on the need to reach a consensus on the issue.
PPP leader Saeed Ghani said the PML-N should apply to the ECP for a vote recount, just as PPP would.
PM Khan, referencing the US presidential elections tweeted, “Trump's team did everything to dispute the 2020 presidential election result, but because technology was used in the electoral process, not one irregularity was found. For a year now we have been asking the Opposition to cooperate with us & help reform our present electoral system.”
PML-N Central Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif, on Saturday, had said that if the election results have been transparent, no party should have any problem with the vote recount.