ISLAMABAD: The returning officer appointed for the by-polls of NA-75 has said in a statement before the Election Commission that no result has changed in NA-75.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the petition of PML-N candidate Noshin Iftikhar regarding the results of NA-75 by-election.
Nowsheen Iftikhar’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja has called for re-polling in NA-75. He said in his arguments that it is not just a matter of re-polling at 20 polling stations, the ECP’s press release is a historic document. Fraud was identified at the level, this is the first election where twenty returning officers went missing, all were missing during and after polling, including the IG and Chief Secretary Punjab, all the missing presiding officers came together, which DS P was removed by the Election Commission and was posted as SP. A firing incident took place in NA-75 which resulted in loss of life. The Election Commission was prevented from fulfilling its constitutional responsibility.
The Returning Officer of NA-75 presented his report before the Election Commission. In his statement before the Election Commission, the Returning Officer said that no result was changed in NA-75. The results obtained later were the same as Watts. The results of some presiding officers came on time on WhatsApp, the result of some was received at 6 in the morning while the result of some was received at 7 in the morning. At 3:30 in the night, the League candidate complained to DSP Daska. Presiding officers were asked to contact the police, but the police officers could not be reached.
Upon inquiry by the Chief Election Commissioner, the Returning Officer said that the results of 337 polling stations had been collected in RMS by 3:37 am, the results of 20 polling stations were not being received and they could not be contacted. Except for one presiding officer, no one was calling. All these 20 polling stations are within 30 to 40 km of the premises. The weather was bad that night. Vehicles were provided to the presiding officers. It was not possible for the presiding officer to be alone. Yes, the police were with them. The results of 4 polling stations are signed by the Presiding Officer, the results of some polling stations are not thumbprints.
Member Punjab Altaf Qureshi inquired whether the presiding officers had sought location from the mobile companies. On which the Returning Officer said that the DPO number was blocked and he could not be contacted.
The Chief Election Commissioner inquired that he was nervous when he contacted us. He said that our lives were in danger. Did the administration not cooperate with you? In response to which the Returning Officer said that slogans were being chanted in the RO office and the workers were also climbing on the walls. The crowd was very large so they were panicked. The Election Commission directed to submit the RO report to the parties.
Ali Bukhari, the lawyer of PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhai, argued that justice should be done. It was said earlier that they are winning with 3,000 votes. If they were winning, why are they demanding re-election? There is no certified document with Noshin Iftikhar’s application, it would have been better if the election results had been challenged in the tribunal. The PML-N has received a request today and will submit documents on it. Time should be given till next week. Unlike PML-N, they do not want to submit unverified documents.
PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi said that objections are being raised at polling stations in his home constituency. Forms of 18 out of 20 stations are with 45 League candidates. The RO himself told the commission that the results have come on WhatsApp.
Chief Election Commissioner remarked that time is short, we can’t give so much time, we have the original record, submit all the evidence and documents till tomorrow, Punjab Member Altaf Qureshi remarked, now there is no fog, not much time to go to the disco Member Balochistan says it will take records from its polling agents to submit, NA-75 case hearing adjourned till Thursday