Voicing reservations: PTI candidate challenges PPP elect’s victory in tribunal

Says police let rigging take place for latter to win LG polls


Our Correspondent July 02, 2015
PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Arbab Shafat Khan has challenged the victory of a Pakistan Peoples Party candidate who won from Tehkal Bala, Ward-40 as a district council member.

According to a petition filed with an election tribunal through his counsel Muhammad Ijaz Sabi, the PTI candidate voiced his reservations over the election of PPP’s Arbab Zarak Khan. The petitioner has listed the returning officer of Ward-40, district returning officer, six candidates and the Election Commission of Pakistan as respondents in the case.

The petition stated police did not take action even though widespread rigging and mismanagement were reported during the May 30 polls.

It added, “Polling was interrupted and stopped many times. Subsequently, six FIRs were also registered over brawls and law and order situation in Ward-40.”

Mismanagement claims

In his petition, Shafat stated the police allegedly directed all the presiding officers in the ward to bring ballot boxes to a police station where results were being forged in Zarak’s favour.

It added that the PTI candidate had initially been declared the winning candidate in the ward. “However, the results were changed overnight in favour of the PPP candidate,” stated the petition.

According to Shafat, he submitted numerous applications with the returning officer in this regard.

However, his efforts have been to no avail. He requested the court to declare Zarak’s victory null and void and hold fresh elections on the ward.

Untrained staff

According to the petition, the elections were mismanaged because staff deployed at polling stations was not adequately trained. “The election commission posted gatekeepers and sanitation workers among others as the staff at polling stations,” read the petition.

“They were not trained and could not control the situation.”

It added, “The janitorial staff posted at various polling stations was taken from schools such as Government High School Tehkal Bala, Aimad Public School, Government Primary School Tehkal Bala and Government Primary School Hajizai.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.

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