HARIPUR: A recount on all 116 polling stations of PK-50 was ordered on Friday after the runner-up from Thursday’s by-election, independent candidate Babar Nawaz Khan, challenged the polls’ transparency.
According to official sources, returning officer Mian Zahidullah Jan accepted Babar’s application and ordered the recount.
As per unofficial results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Akbar Ayub Khan won the by-polls after bagging 26,957 votes whereas Babar got 23,760 votes and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate Qazi Asad Khan secured 22,028 votes.
Babar, son of slain provincial minister Akhtar Nawaz Khan and relative of Qaumi Watan Party’s legislator from PK-51 Gohar Nawaz, accused the PTI candidate of using official machinery to tip the by-polls in his favour. Babar added he has proof that police officials stamped ballot papers in Ayub’s favour, thus making the entire polling process unfair. He demanded re-polling be carried out. According to an official notification, recounting in the entire constituency will be carried out on Saturday.
Ayub is the younger brother of former provincial minister Yusuf Ayub Khan and grandson of military ruler General Ayub Khan.
The election was held in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s constituency seven months after an election tribunal disqualified Yusuf Ayub Khan, a PTI minister for having a fake degree.
There were seven candidates in the contest including Ayub, Qazi Asad, Tahir Qureshi of Pakistan Peoples Party, Irum Fatima of Awami National Party, and independent candidates Babar, Sheryar Khan and Shakeel Ahmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2014.
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