Maryam Nawaz Sharif demands re-election in NA 75.
ISLAMABAD: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s statement regarding the NA-75 by-poll is a charge sheet against the “fake government”.
Speaking to the media, Maryam said that the ruling party was not expecting they will lose a seat from Nowshera because PMLN had not won there before. Maryam praised the PMLN voters for exposing the Ruling party.
“This is not a government but a mafia sitting in the centre,” she said.
The PMLN Vice President said that when they were unable to stop PMLN voters, they run away with bags of votes. “This is Wazirabad I am speaking of. The presiding officer was caught red-handed with a white bag full of votes. we caught him in the presence of Rangers,” she said.
Maryam said that the government “did not stop at that”. “They then proceeded to disappear around 20 staff of the Election Commission,” she claimed, referring to events in the NA-75 Sialkot-IV.
Maryam raises the question regarding the election commission staff that as they claim it was fog which stops them but “why were their phones turned off the entire duration?” “We don’t know where they were kept for 14 hours and what they had them do,” she added.
“Where was the chief minister, chief secretary, the police, the IG and the administration,” she questioned.
Maryam said that the plan was made in Wazirabad and Daska because it was clear that PML-N was in the lead there.
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.
Maryam Nawaz also discussed the Election Commission’s press release which stated that results were obtained with considerable delay and contact could not be established with presiding officers.
Regarding the ECP press release, she said that even Election Commission did not know where their officers were. She also demanded re-election in NA-75 Sialkot-IV.
Providing evidence, a video was then played showing the said candidate with a red circle marked around him for identification. PTI’s candidate was present during the firing, adding that “A video never lies.”
This comes as 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 in its press release 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.
Meanwhile, PMLN’s senior leadership strongly condemned the blatant rigging in Daska.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz shared video evidence.
In a video message, PMLN Secretary-General Ashan Iqbal said: “I am present in Daska and it is around 3:45 am. 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.
In an application to the chief election commissioner, Ahsan Iqbal also asked that the result for NA-75 be withheld till “investigation of 23 missing presiding officers abducted by administration and determination of authenticity of results submitted by them by PMLN candidate Nosheen Iftikhar.”
On the other hand, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday declared victory in the NA-75 by-polls even though the ECP already said that the results may be falsified.
Spokesperson Punjab government Firdous Ashiq Awan had claimed a victory with a margin of 7,827 votes and blamed PML-N for hooliganism and taking the RO hostage to stop him from announcing the results.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar lashed out at the opposition, stating that the parties accept the results only when they win and reject them when they lose.
At least two people were killed and three others injured in a firing incident at a polling station in Daska. One of the victims was reportedly a member of the ruling PTI while the other belonged to the PML-N. A PTI polling agent was also among the injured. Maryam extended condolences to the people who die. She also announced to visit their house.