Challenges flood courts as PTI-backed candidates accuse ‘rigging’

Independents backed by the PTI filed challenges in large numbers, including prominent politicians and their spouses (e.g., Usman Dar and Qaisera Elahi), former KP finance minister Taimoor Jhagra and ex-KP speaker Mahmood Jan, Islamabad-based attorney Shuaib Shaheen, former Punjab health minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid, and Shuaib Shaheen.

Separate petitions filed with the High Court in Lahore challenged the victories of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, former Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Attaullah Tarar, alleging manipulation of Form 47s.

The petitioners assert that their opponents were defeated in accordance with the Form 45 that was provided to them. Nevertheless, their triumphs were purportedly transformed into setbacks in the Form 47 during their absence. In addition to alleging collusion in the manipulation of election results, they require that the Form 47 results be prepared in accordance with the Form 45s.

Ruba Omar, the spouse of Omar Dar, has filed a challenge to the election results in PP 146 Sialkot. Ruba Omar was declared the victor on Form 45; however, her defeat on Form 47 can be attributed to collusion.

The claim of victory by Maryam Nawaz in NA-119 has been contested by Shahzad Farooq, an independent candidate. In lieu of the presiding officers presenting Form 45, the result was issued by the returning officer. Shahzad Farooq asserts that he vanquished Maryam Nawaz through rigging, despite having won the match.

The victory of Atta Tarar in NA-127 has been contested by Zahir Abbas Khokhar. Evidently in collusion, Atta Tarar proclaimed himself victorious on Form 47 despite having lost according to Form 45.

PTI Alleges Election Rigging in Sindh High Court

Three PTI candidates petitioned the Sindh High Court in Karachi, alleging that the election overseer, ROs, and others were involved in the violation of electoral laws and the overall rigging of the process.

Arsalan Khalid, PTI provincial chief Haleem Adil Sheikh, and advocate Khalid Mehmood, who ran for office in NA-238 (East-IV), NA-248 (Central-II), and NA-231 (Malir-III), are among the challengers.

The president of the PTI Sindh contended that his election agents obtained Form 45 from all polling stations, which indicated he had a clear lead of approximately 65,000 votes. However, the petitioner was positioned in second place with over 36,800 votes, while MQM-P’s Sadiq Iftikhar was declared the victor from NA-238 with over 54,000 on the contested Form 47.

Mohammad Ali Bukhari and Mohammad Shuaib Shaheen, both members of Imran Khan’s legal team, have criticised their respective defeats at the hands of PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and independent candidate Raja Khurram Shehzad in Islamabad.

Despite the fact that both candidates submitted their petitions to the IHC, the registrar office objected, stating that the petitioner should approach the proper forum.

The candidates subsequently submitted the application to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

For today, Sunday, the commission has issued a summons to the returning officers of the constituencies.

PTI Challenges Election Results in Courts

According to the petition, Mr. Bukhari ran for office in NA-48; nevertheless, the returning officer unlawfully removed his polling agents from the designated polling stations.

As a result, the petitioner and their designated agents were not present during the entirety of the counting and result preparation process.

It was stated that no action was taken despite verbal objections from the petitioner and his polling agents.

Petitioners supporting the PTI, consisting of nine former legislators and six independents, will have the Peshawar High Court consider challenges to the provisional election results in their respective constituencies.

Judicial Syed Arshad Ali and Shakeel Ahmad will comprise the two-member panel that will preside over the hearing.

Former provincial ministers Kamran Khan Bangash (PK-82) and Taimoor Saleem Khan Jhagra (PK–79) are among the petitioners. KP former Assembly deputy speaker Mahmood Jan (PK–72) is another. Former MNAs Hamidul Haq (PK–80) and Sajid Nawaz Khan (NA–28) are also petitioners. Former Peshawar district nazim Mohammad Asim (PK–74) is among the petitioners. Attorneys Ali Zaman (PK-73) and Malik Shahab (PK–75) are among the petitioners.

ECP Halts Notification for Contested Seats

In the interim, the ECP has issued directives to the returning officers of NA-64 and PP-32 (Gujrat and Kunjah), including the returning officer of the Gujrat district, to refrain from issuing notifications regarding returned candidates until final result consolidation takes place in the presence of the petitioners Qaisara Elahi and Chaudhary Parvez Elahi or their representatives.

On Saturday in Islamabad, three members of the ECP issued these orders after hearing the petitions filed by PTI candidates Qaisara Elahi and her spouse, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who were running for office in NA-64 and PP-32, respectively.

According to the petition filed by Qaisara Elahi, she claimed to have won the NA-64 seat with a minimum margin of 103,262 votes from 262 out of 359 polling stations. However, the returning officer, NA 64, reported that she received 80,946 votes, whereas her opponent Chaudhary Salik Hussain received 105,205 votes. As a result, Elahi petitioned the RO to refrain from releasing the final result without consolidation.

The petitioner Parvez Elahi raised similar concerns regarding the provisional result declared by the relevant RO in PP-32 (Kunjah), given that Salik Hussain had been deemed the victor by the RO in the unofficial results that were initially released.

The case’s next scheduled hearing has been set for February 15, per the ECP.

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