Daska by-election: Agencies involved in rigging, says Maryam Nawaz

LAHORE: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz claimed that security agencies were involved in the rigging of the by-election in Daska.

Speaking to the media in Lahore on Wednesday, Maryam said that the elections were rigged systematically. “The election officers harassed voters and tried to influence their votes.”

She also claimed that the basic rights of voters were “snatched” in Daska. “The polling centres were closed and voting was suspended for over six hours. Even the firing outside the stations was planned.”

She also claimed that the PTI’s camps were empty and the voting process was made slow where PMLN supporter was visible. She raises questions as to what was being done inside polling stations with the doors shut when there was still time to cast votes.

She also talked about the open ballot voting that the Supreme Court not to become a part of the matter.

“This is a political issue and if the top court gets involved, it will give Imran Khan a relief and make the elections look biased,” she said.

The PMLN VP added that the party final list of candidates will be released after a parliamentary session of the party.

This comes as the Returning Officer (RO) of NA-75 Daska By-poll has admitted that presiding officers of 23 polling stations were found involved in rigging.

According to the report submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Returning Officer (RO) said that the investigation revealed that presiding officers were involved in rigging.

PML-N candidate Nausheen Iftikhar raised reservations over the results by stating the difference between the Form 45 copy available with her and with Presiding Officer ‘different’.

According to Presiding Officer’s, PML-N candidates secured 3500 votes from the 23 polling stations, while Nausheen claimed to get 5000 votes, Returning Officer said in his statement.

It appears that the results were altered, RO claimed and suggested re-polling on the 23 polling stations.

Meanwhile, The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday also directed the PTI to submit its response in the suspected tampering of the NA-75 Daska by-election results by tomorrow.

The hearing was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. The hearing is adjourned till Thursday.

The PTI’s legal counsel had asked for more time to submit the record and had asked for a week to submit “verified results and proof”. However, the CEC turned down the request, stating that the “weather was no longer bad”, in an apparent reference to the claims of the presiding officers regarding fog on the night of the by-election.

He added that the ECP will conclude the NA-75 by-poll. If the election was fair, the results will be released. If it is not, then re-polling can be done,” he said.

This comes as the ECP had seized the electoral record of by-polls in NA-75 Daska on Saturday after rigging allegations were levelled against each other in the constituency by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

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