Bring out the ballot: Election tribunal orders re-election in NA-46

Published: March 26, 2014
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File photo of a woman casting her ballot for the local bodies elections in Quetta on December 7, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

File photo of a woman casting her ballot for the local bodies elections in Quetta on December 7, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: 

The election tribunal has declared the election of independent candidate Nasir Khan Afridi for NA-46 (Bara, Khyber Agency) null and void, and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold re-polling in the constituency.

The decision was made in response to a petition filed by losing candidate Hamidullah Jan Afridi alleging that the election was rigged. While another petition demanding a recount was submitted by another losing NA-46 contender, PTI’s Iqbal Afridi, Judge Syed Yahya Gillani rejected it.

MNA Nisar was accused of being responsible for violence on Election Day and for providing fake records with his nomination papers. His national assembly membership is now disqualified.

ECP had ordered re-polling at 21 stations on June 5, after which Nasir Khan was declared the winner with 4,135 out of the 16,896 valid votes. He was followed by Iqbal Afridi with 3,579 and independent candidate Hamidullah Jan Afridi who bagged 3,342 votes. The latter told The Express Tribune that Nasir Khan Afridi did not show his banks accounts, criminal records and other assets.

“We have provided video clippings and documentary proof of all records of rigging at various polling stations and the winning candidate has used money to get votes in his constituency,” said Hamidullah.

The losing candidate claimed that the election staff provided the winning candidate with the voter list many days before Hamidullah was given the same information, accusing Nasir Khan Afridi of having ample time to bribe voters.

At least five people were injured in firing incidents at a NA-46 polling station in Shahkas on May 11. Elsewhere, ballot boxes were destroyed and some polling stations were also ransacked.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2014.

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