KARACHI: Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah challenged on Wednesday the election tribunal’s order regarding the verification of votes to check allegations of bogus votes cast in the provincial assembly’s constituency of PS-29, from where the CM won the general elections.
The CM had gone to the court against the order passed by the tribunal set-up in Karachi that directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to conduct verification of votes polled in NA-215 and PS-29 constituencies of Khairpur.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Syed Ghous Ali Shah had lost elections on both the seats to the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Nawaz Ali Wasan and Qaim Ali Shah, respectively.
Qaim was declared returned candidate after securing 44,362 on the provincial assembly’s seat while Wasan had won by bagging 91,809 votes on the National Assembly’s seat.
The PML-N’s candidate had secured 29,953 and 66,481 votes in the two constituencies, respectively.
Ghous alleged that his rival candidates had conducted massive rigging in the polls and pleaded to the tribunal to order the verification of thumb impressions on the ballots. He also accused them of using the state machinery for managing their victory. Subsequently, the tribunal ordered verification of the votes through Nadra.
Assailing this order in the high court, Qaim stated the election tribunal had allowed his rival’s plea for voters’ verification by ignoring the legal provisions. He stated the tribunal had also dismissed his application against the maintainability of the election petition.
He asked the court to declare that the tribunal’s order was without legal authority, thus the same may be dismissed.
This is the second petition filed by him in the high court, where he had previously approached to seek transfer of the election petition from the tribunal set-up in Sukkur to any other place, alleging the presiding officer Zaheeruddin Leghari has association with the rival Pakistan Muslim League - Functional.
Compromise on speaker’s case
A Sindh High Court bench was informed that the PML-F’s defeated candidate, who had sought the verification of votes bagged by Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, was going to compromise on the matter and there was a likelihood of him joining the PPP.
Durrani had sought the transfer of election petition filed by Zulfiqar Ali Kumario, who had lost the seat to the petitioner in the general elections. He claimed that the Sukkur election tribunal’s presiding officer has an affiliation with the PML-F. The bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, adjourned the hearing till December 20 after Kumario’s lawyer requested for time to seek instructions from his client.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2013.
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