Islamabad, February 25
Pakistan election authorities on Thursday ordered re-election on a seat of the National Assembly after the opposition demanded fresh polls after annulment of the results.
Nobody was officially declared as a winner of the election held on February 19 from NA-75 Daska, a constituency in Sialkot district of Punjab.
Candidates associated with ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and chief opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were in neck-to-neck in the contest, both claiming victory.
The PML-N cried foul after the chief polling officers of around 20 polling stations turned up very late at a central district office to submit their results along with ballot papers.
There were also reports that some of them were kidnapped and forced to alter the results.
The polling was marred due to firing incidents in which at least two persons were killed.
The party challenged the process at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), where a five-member committee after hearing the case annulled the polls and ordered that fresh elections be held on March 18.
The ECP said the order was issued under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution and Article 19 (1) of the Election Act, 2017, and it noted that “on the day of the election, chaos was spread in the entire constituency”.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz in her reaction said the people of Daska got back their right to choose the representative.
The ECP decision was billed as vindication of opposition that the government rigged the elections.
Maryam’s spokesperson Muhammad Zubair in his reaction said that it showed the government was “caught red-handed”.
However, Information Minister Shibli Faraz hinted that the PTI might challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.
“We will consult our legal team and consider all options,” he said. PTI