Saeed Ghani denies rigging allegations in by-elections


Pervaiz Jatt
KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Saeed Ghani has denied rigging allegations levelled by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) following his victory from Karachi’s PS-114 constituency on July 9

On Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) stayed the notification of the by-election result declaring Ghani victorious after MQM-P’s rigging complaint. A further hearing will be held by the election tribunal on Monday.
Speaking outside the ECP on Friday, Ghani denied accusations that the police had taken over some polling stations at his behest, saying the polling stations mentioned by the MQM-P had presence of Rangers and media throughout the polling day.
Ghani also denied that he had directed the changing of some polling stations, saying returning officer did change some polling stations but that was done at the request of other parties. He challenged the opposition party to prove their allegations that he used state machinery for his benefit.
“MQM is the same as it was before. There is no difference between ‘London’ and ‘Pakistan’, he claimed, explaining that both factions worked together during the PS-114 by-elections.
Ghani said it is for the first time in Karachi’s history that such a transparent election has occurred. He also cautioned the ECP to avoid such frivolous objections, saying otherwise the 2018 general elections would be marred with controversy as everyone would end up challenging results on one pretext or the other.
The MQM has requested the ECP to order a recount in the entire constituency and the National Database and Registration Authority to verify thumb impressions of all voters.


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