Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reiterated that electronic voting machines (EVM) are the only answer to reclaim the credibility of elections in the country and invited the opposition to sit with the government and "select from EVM models we have available".
As the election commission on Friday declared the PPP victorious in the NA-249 Karachi by-poll, almost all major parties contesting the seat said they would challenge the results.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), PPP candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel secured 16,156 votes against 15,473 bagged by PML-N's Miftah Ismail.
In NA 249 bye election, despite a low turnout, all parties are crying foul & claiming rigging. Same happened in Daska recently & in Senate elections. In fact, apart from 1970 election, in every election claims of rigging have raised doubts over credibility of election results.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 1, 2021
The premier, in a series of tweets, said despite low turnout in the by-polls, all parties are "crying foul and claiming rigging" and added the same was witnessed after the Daska by-polls and in the Senate elections.
"In fact, apart from 1970 election, in every election claims of rigging have raised doubts over the credibility of election results."
Regretting that no substantive reforms have been conducted, Imran said his government was determined and will put in place reforms in the country's electoral systems through technology to bring transparency and credibility in the process.
Recalling events from 2013, the prime minister said 133 NA seats were disputed before the election tribunal and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) asked for an examination of just four constituencies, which resulted in rigging being 'established.
Imran also gave a more recent example, that of former president Trump, and said his team did "everything to dispute 2020 presidential election result", but because of the use of technology, no irregularities were found.
A war of words was witnessed between PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz after the former's party was declared victorious in the by-elections by the ECP.
Bilawal, while addressing a news conference in Karachi after the announcement of results, said his party had defeated the PTI in every field.
“The people of Karachi have rejected the PTI government and we have scored a historic victory in NA-249.”
The ECP results stated that the voter turnout remained 21.61% in the constituency and the total votes cast were 73,471 out of 339,591 votes registered in the area.