GDA vows to protest ‘rigged’ elections

Leaders question transparency of polls, allege ECP rules not followed during polling

Our Correspondent August 02, 2018
GDA's Fehmida Mirza said individuals have become stronger and institutions weaker following these elections. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has announced to initiate a protest movement against what they call rigging in the general elections from Friday.

The party leaders alleged that the 2018 elections were the worst in which the mandate of the people of Sindh was stolen. GDA's Fehmida Mirza, who has won the NA-230 seat in Badin said individuals have become stronger and institutions weaker following these elections.

She was speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.

GDA wants re-elections across province

Fehmida said there is a question mark on the credibility of the polling process as opponents openly stamped ballot papers after sending the polling agents out of the polling stations.

After spending billions of rupees on the election process, the Election Commission of Pakistan has become inactive, she alleged, claiming that the district returning officers and returning officers were not changed despite complaints by the party before the polls.

She said that the state machinery was used to steal the results and the opponents spent a large sum of money against their party.

"We have proof that ballot boxes were opened during polling and closed later," she said.

According to Fehmida, those involved in rigging must be brought to the court of law and the records of closed-circuit television cameras sealed.

Former Sindh chief minister and a GDA candidate Ghous Ali Shah said, "I have firm belief that PPP [Pakistan Peoples Party] will lose if free and fair elections are held."

"My polling agents were sent outside in 220 polling stations out of 295 for which I will approach the election commission," he remarked, adding that the result of only 70 polling stations has been provided to him. "We support Imran Khan. We need to support him for the sake of the country," he opined.

Former CM asks GDA to stop making hue and cry

Meanwhile, GDA's Zulfiqar Mirza said he has always highlighted the wrongdoings of Asif Ali Zardari. According to him, first Gullu Jakhrani was sent to Badin to take the law into his hands and later, Qadir Marri was sent to lure the people of Badin with money.

Zulfiqar alleged that Zardari spent Rs2.5 billion in Badin district to counter him. "I challenged Zardari. I will compete against him once again," said Zulfiqar.

GDA's Krishan Chandar alleged, "No action has been taken on our complaints. Further, no rules of the election commission were followed."

We have written letters to the ECP for the recounting of votes.

The multi-party alliance could only secure two national and 11 provincial seats from Sindh and has alleged that the entire July 25 exercise was designed to favour a particular party in Sindh.

SUP rejects election results

During an executive committee meeting on Wednesday, the Sindh United Party also rejected the election results. They said the elections were micro-managed. SUP chief Jalal Mehmud Shah said  that the elections were made questionable with the help of DROs, ROs and presiding officers. He claimed that 80% of the population was in favour of SUP candidates before the elections.

"If such practices prevail, a day will come when the people will stop trusting the election exercise," he said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2018.

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