LAHORE: Maryam Nawaz Sharif will address a press conference at 5 PM on Saturday after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has accepted that rigging took place in the NA 75 Sialkot constituency after members of the PML-N produced video evidence of falsified votes.
The ECP said that the results from 20 polling stations had been falsified and that the results were received with unnecessary delays, with presiding officers not responding to contact attempts.
A statement by the ECP said: “The chief election commissioner tried to contact the Punjab inspector general of police, commissioner and deputy commissioner on receiving information from the district returning officer (DRO) and returning officer (RO) so the whereabouts of the presiding officers concerned could be ascertained but received no response.”
The ECP that the chief election commissioner tried to contact Chief Secretary Punjab who had earlier assured him that missing bags would be traced but then he made himself “unavailable”.
“The DRO and RO of the NA-75 (Sialkot) constituency informed [the ECP] that there is a suspicion of falsification in the results from 20 polling stations. Therefore, it is not possible to release the initial results without a complete inquiry. The DRO is sending a complete report on the matter to the Election Commission,” the statement read.
“This matter looks like a weakness of the administration and law enforcement agencies,” the ECP added.
On the other side, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz shared video evidence of collected by PML-N workers that showed blatant rigging in Daska.
In a video message, Ashan Iqbal said: “I am present in Daska and it is around 3:45am. The PML-N candidate (Nousheen Iftikhar Shah) is winning. The returning officer has received results from 370 polling stations and seeing the win of the PML-N, the staff and record of 23 polling stations have been made to disappear.”
“When we asked the returning officer, he said he too was helpless. [The returning officer] has made full efforts but is unable to contact the staff and he does not know where they have disappeared. The results of these polling stations have now become suspicious.”
“They are holding the results [of this election] to save their dignity after losing. Whose custody [is the missing staff] in? Who has kidnapped them? The nation and we all want an answer,” he said.