PTI cries foul in NA-148 Multan by-polls

Slams ECP over ‘fraudulent’ elections

Our Correpondent May 21, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)


The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has denounced the NA-148 Multan by-election as “fraudulent”, asserting that it had further tarnished the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) reputation.

A PTI spokesperson on Monday expressed gratitude to thousands of NA-148 constituents who supported the PTI-endorsed candidate, despite what the party claimed were significant legal and procedural violations.

The spokesperson lambasted the elections as heavily rigged, saying that those celebrating the outcome should feel ashamed.

Read: Taking up Tyrian case again bid to keep Imran in jail: PTI

The spokesperson specifically called on Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the newly elected chairman of the upper house, to apologise to the nation and the people of Multan for undermining the integrity of the vote.

The statement followed the victory of the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Syed Ali Qasim Gilani over Barrister Taimur Altaf Mahay, who contested the by-poll under the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) banner.

Ali Qasim Gilani, the son of former prime minister and current Senate chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, secured a lead over Barrister Taimur in a race that saw seven candidates vying for the seat.

The PTI spokesperson condemned the Gilanis for their alleged involvement in electoral fraud, asserting that they should feel ashamed rather than celebratory. He lamented the persistent issues plaguing Pakistan such as the erosion of democracy and the infringement upon citizens' constitutional right to vote.

Read: PTI slams ‘violation of rules’ in NA-148 by-polls

He asserted that the same deceitful tactics witnessed during the February 9 and April 21 incidents resurfaced in the NA-148 by-election.

The PTI claimed that the ECP enabled these wrongdoings, including meddling before the elections, intimidation at polling stations, and sidelining PTI-backed candidates and agents during vote counting.

The former ruling party also pointed fingers at alleged vote-buying in Senate elections by the Gilani family, accusing the CEC of turning a blind eye. It vowed to keep fighting to protect the integrity of elections, strongly opposing what it labelled as "mandate thieves" at every level of government.

Senator Aon Abbas, PTI South Punjab president, alleged that more than 7,000 police officials were deployed to obstruct PTI candidates and supporters from accessing the returning officer's office for the vote count.

He accused Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi of orchestrating pre-poll rigging and asserted that the victory margin of the PPP candidate was predetermined.

Abbas said that PTI would not stay quiet about these irregularities and announced plans for peaceful protests across the nation.






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