Post-poll crises looms large over the country as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Awami National Party (ANP) among others have voiced grave concerns over what they termed ‘systematic manipulation in compilation and announcement of results’ by the polling staff.
According to unofficial and unverified results, Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Pakistan (PTI) is ahead on more than 122 National Assembly seats and PML-N is lagging behind with 55.
Khan’s party is also leading across 75 Punjab Assembly seats while rivals PML-N are on second position with 73.
Addressing a press conference, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif said he had received complaints of irregularities from across Pakistan, adding that other parties have also raised similar objections.
“PML-N wholly rejects the results of General Elections 2018 due to manifest & massive irregularities. Form 45 was not given to our agents, results were stopped & votes were counted in the absence of our poll agents. This is both unbearable & unacceptable!,” Shehbaz also said in a tweet early on Thursday.
He said he had convened the party’s central executive committee meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation. “PML-N will contact all political parties who faced similar treatment on poll day and a unanimous strategy will be chalked out,” he announced.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also voiced similar concerns terming the alleged expulsion of party’s polling agents from various polling stations ‘inexcusable and outrageous’.
The party claimed that their polling agents were not provided with the election results. “What conspiracy is being hatched by not providing results to our polling agents?” said a spokesperson of Bilawal on Twitter.
The MQM-P also expressed similar concerns in a news conference in Karachi, in which Faisal Sabzwari claimed that their polling agents were not being provided certified copies of the election results by the ECP in Hyderabad and Karachi.
He threatened to launch protest at every polling station, where certified copies of the results were not provided to the party’s representatives. Sabzwari specifically mentioned polling station 89 of NA-249 and another one from NA-243 constituency.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leadership including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also rejected the unverified and unofficial results.
Earlier, expressing serious concerns over unofficial early results, PML-N leaders on Wednesday night claimed that a massive rigging is taking place in several polling stations throughout the country.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the party’s polling agents were not only being thrown out of polling stations but also being deprived of their right of obtaining the all-important Form-45.
She said the election results were being ‘manipulated behind closed doors’ and their party’s mandate was being stolen in several constituencies across the country. Aurangzeb urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker governments to take notice of the situation “or else the PML-N workers would do it themselves.”
The former ruling party had gone into the general polls, with probably the toughest electoral battle in its history.
On July 13, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested by National Accountability Bureau team at Quaid-e-Azam International Airport Lahore on their return from London via Abu Dhabi. They are since been held in the Adiala jail.
Captain (retd) Safdar was arrested on July 8 and has been detained in the same prison as his wife, and father-in-law. All the three were convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield Apartments reference on July 6.
With additional input from Danish Hussain from Islamabad.