ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered re-polling at 29 polling stations of NA-259 in Dera Bugti dismissing an appeal filed by Jamhoori Watan Party’s (JWP) Shahzain Bugti.
A two-member bench led by Justice Gulzar Ahmed maintained the decision of the election tribunal. The court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure conduct the polls and announce the results within 90 days.
The ECP had disqualified Bugti, withdrawing its notification according to which the JWP leader was the returned candidate from NA-259.
According to the ECP, the notification issued on August 7, 2018, was withdrawn in the light of a judgement passed by the Balochistan Election Tribunal on June 28, 2019, over an election petition titled Tariq Mehmood Khetran vs returning officer and others.
Khetran, the JWP leader’s opponent, had challenged the results.
The commission had directed re-polling in 29 polling stations of the NA-259 and appointed Regional Election Commissioner Sibi Imran Ahmed as the district returning officer, District Election Commissioner Sibi Nadeem Asghar Palal as the returning officer to supervise the process.
The JWP leader’s counsel asked the court to restore the notification of his client’s victory, adding that Bugti had won the election with a margin of 1,221 votes.
He argued that the constituency would remain without representation if the notification was not restored.
Bugti had bagged 22,787 votes while Kethran had fetched 21,213 votes in 2018 election.
Immediately after his success, Bugti had announced that he would support the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2019.