ECP orders recount of NA-249 by-election votes on May 6

By: News Desk
Published: 12:27 PM, 4 May, 2021
ECP orders recount of NA-249 by-election votes on May 6
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The Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered a vote recount in NA-249 by-election, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

The ECP on Tuesday also ordered all parties to reach the Returning Officer’s office in Karachi on May 6 at 9am for the vote recount.

Earlier in the day, reserving the verdict on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) appeal for vote recount in NA-249, Karachi West, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that it would pronounce the decision today. 

Earlier, a four-member bench of the ECP, headed by the chief election commissioner, took up the petition for hearing filed by PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail for the vote recount.  

The PML-N appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct an inquiry into ‘irregularities’ committed in the by-election in NA-249, Karachi West. 

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel and party leaders Farooq H Naek, Nayyer Bukhari and Saeed Ghani attended the hearing, while PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail and party leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb, Muhammad Zubair, Musadik Malik and Zubair Umar were also in attendance. 

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Latif Khosa, counsel for PPP, and Salman Akram Raja, counsel for PML-N, represented their respective clients.

Giving arguments in the case, Salman Akram Raja, representing PML-N, said the majority of the presiding officers in NA-249 did not sign Form 45. “Form 45 received from as many as 167 polling stations did not bear the signatures of their presiding officers,” he elaborated. 

Raja further said that even Form 46 was not handed to the polling agents of PML-N. 

Election Commission member Sindh, on the occasion, inquired from Salman Akram Raja whether the Form 45 were not provided to them at all or they did not bear the signatures of presiding officers.  

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Raja said that non-provision of Form 46 put question marks over the credibility of the electoral exercise. 

Citing Justice Nasirul Mulk Commission’s report, counsel for the PML-N said provision of Form 46 was as much important as that of Form 45. “Presiding officers are bound to provide signed Form 45 and Form 46 to the polling agents,” he said, and added even the Form 45 provided by the returning officer (RO) was also without signatures.  

Reporter Zeeshan Bhatti