KARACHI: After resigning as the Karachi division president of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Saeed Ghani has accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of massive rigging during the July 25 polls.
He said that thousands of ballot papers were recovered on Saturday from a garbage dump in Qayyumabad. “Most of the ballot papers bore the PPP stamp, which clearly indicates that PPP has been systematically sidelined,” he suspected, announcing that the party has decided to legally challenge the results of the NA-241 constituency.
The PPP leader expressed his views at a press conference held at Bilawal House’s media cell on Sunday. Ghani was accompanied by other PPP leaders, including General Secretary Waqar Mehdi and Rashid Rabbani. He said that PPP had pointed out irregularities in the general elections on the very same day. He lamented that ECP was adamant on not accepting its mistake by saying that elections were free and transparent while people were not even allowed to carry mobile phones and cameras inside polling stations.
“At least candidates and polling agents should have been given entry,” he said, adding that a mobile phone was a must-have for any emergency or complaint.
“Rigging cannot be established without cameras,” he said, alleging that ECP’s polling process was full of faults. “We had asked the presiding officers to allot the polling booths in advance so that the polling process was not delayed. At my polling station, booth numbers were placed at 8:45am, which caused delay in the polling process and decreased the voter count,” he narrated.
He said that ECP claims that all procedures for the election were undertaken under the supervision of the army. “What we saw in Qayyumbad’s garbage dump is a testimony to the elections being rigged,” he said.
Ghani termed the defeat of PPP as a conspiracy given the amount of campaigning it had carried out in Karachi. “The PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] camps were deserted on election day,” he said adding that the number of votes they seem to have garnered were unjustified.
The PPP leader called for an impartial investigation into the rigging allegations, saying that his party only considered Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan as its contender while the PTI was not even remotely seen as a contender in the electoral battle.
“Wasted ballot papers like these may also be recovered from other places. The responsibility for the mess all lies with the ECP,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mehdi said that he was surprised that PTI secured so many seats from Karachi. “The party has decided to knock on every door for justice,” he said, demanding ECP to hold the results until full investigations were made.
Responding to a question about his resignation, Ghani commented that the matter was being reviewed by the party leadership. “My resignation has not been accepted as yet,” he said.