Imran Khan’s party demands resignation of CEC and Chief Justice over alleged rigging

Islamabad: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s party has demanded the resignations of the Chief Election Commissioner and Chief Justice of Pakistan after a senior bureaucrat’s allegations that the top election body and judiciary were involved in the poll rigging.

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Former Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha on Saturday alleged that the candidates who were “losing” the elections “were made to win” in the city. He claimed that 13 candidates from Rawalpindi were forcefully declared winners.

His remarks came amidst jailed former prime minister Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party began nationwide protests against alleged rigging and stealing of its mandate in the February 8 elections.

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“I am taking responsibility for all this wrongdoing and telling you that the chief election commissioner and the chief justice are also completely involved in this,” he said.

Chattha resigned from his office after “accepting responsibility” for the manipulation of poll results.

A PTI spokesperson demanded that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa tender their resignations following the revelations by Rawalpindi Commissioner Chattha.

He said Chattha’s admission endorsed PTI’s stance on how the public mandate was stolen in the dark of the night, besides exposing the real characters involved in election rigging.

The spokesperson said that Chattha confessed that the victory of independent candidates leading with over 70,000 votes was converted into a defeat by putting fake stamps.

He emphasised that Chattha’s testimony supported PTI’s stance that people had voted for PTI-affiliated independent candidates in large numbers. However, the overwhelming PTI majority was allegedly turned into a minority overnight through poll “fraud”.

He demanded that the electoral watchdog should promptly return PTI’s 86 stolen seats in the National Assembly.

He also demanded that all the elements involved in stealing public mandate should be punished under the Constitution and the law.

Meanwhile, PTI held its parliamentary committee meeting.

PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan told reporters that the party was deprived of its symbol, and most of the leaders were in jail at the time of the elections, but people cast votes in favour of PTI.

“Today we hear a voice from the same place [Rawalpindi] where we were deprived of our mandate. Commissioner Rawalpindi has given proof in our favour. We have been deprived of 80 seats,” he said.

He said that on Friday, he, along with Sardar Latif Khosa, had a meeting with party founder Khan, who is in jail.

“Imran Khan told us that he will forgive all the personalities just like the Holy Prophet Muhammad did after Fatah Makkah. He also gave the example of Nelson Mandela and said that he would not take revenge on anyone,” Ali said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has demanded an inquiry into the allegations. However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has raised questions about the mental status of Chattha.

PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, while talking to Dunya News, said that Chattha seemed to be a psycho, and that is why he claimed that he tried to commit suicide.

PPP Secretary, Information, Faisal Karim Kundi, in a video statement, said that Pakistan was passing through a very sensitive era as a new parliament was going to form soon.

Even after the passage of more than a week, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is yet to notify the victory of most of the independent candidates who have won National Assembly (NA) seats in the general elections, the paper said.

The delay on the part of the ECP to officially notify the results of a majority of the independent candidates has raised concerns among their voters and stakeholders amid political wrangling over the numbers game for the formation of government in the Centre.

While under the election rules, independent candidates have three days to join a political party after official notification of their victory, the ECP has so far notified results of 154 out of a total of 265 contested National Assembly constituencies, where elections took place on February 8.

Independent candidates – a majority backed by the PTI party – won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats that were contested in the February 8 election.

The PTI’s two main rivals appear on course to form a coalition government after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) formed a post-poll alliance last week.

The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.


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