NA-122 rigging allegations: Tribunal terms Ayaz Sadiq's election null and void

Published: August 22, 2015
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PHOTO: ONLINE

PHOTO: ONLINE

LAHORE: After hours of delay, an election tribunal finally announced its verdict on Saturday, approving chairman PTI’s claims that systematic rigging had taken place in the NA-122 and PP-147 constituencies and announced a re-election.

Tribunal’s judge, Kazim Malik termed the result of both – National Assembly constituency NA-122 Lahore and Punjab Assembly constituency PP-147 Lahore – as null and void and ordered the Election Commission to hold re-polling.

Later on, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that he accepts the tribunal’s judgment, adding that the tribunal had put the blame on election machinery.

“I respect the judgment and accept it but due to our reservations we will go to the Supreme Court,” he said.

He also said that the judgment was not about victory or defeat as he had also won the election in 2002.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq further said that MQM leaders’ resignations will now be taken by the Deputy Speaker Assembly after the tribunal judgment.

Commenting on the tribunal’s verdict, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hinted that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will back Sadiq’s appeal in the Supreme Court, stating that they will avail their legal rights.

The premier said that the tribunal and its decision was part of the legal process which should be respected by all parties.

Meanwhile, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq’s son Ali Ayaz Sadiq said that there was no mention of “rigging” in the tribunal’s report. He hinted that his father may appeal the verdict in Supreme Court.

Sadiq’s lawyer too contended that contrary to what PTI chairman Imran Khan was claiming, the verdict did not rule that rigging took place in NA-122.

Imran blames ECP, PML-N nexus for ‘rigging’ NA-122

Addressing ‘victory’ celebrations after an election tribunal ordered repolls, PTI chief Imran Khan held both, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for ‘rigging’ the May 2013 elections, particularly NA-122.

He added that the judicial commission, which had probed the general elections, too had held the ECP responsible for mismanagement in polls. The PTI chief said that he had written a letter to the poll body about the issue, warning that if it was not answered within two weeks, his party would stage a sit-in at the ECP’s office.

Imran said that he did not mean to upset Sadiq, but his objective was to mend the faulty electoral system.

Earlier, Imran had challenged National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq’s victory from the constituency in the 2013 general elections.

Policemen struggle to place a barrier as political activists engage in a scuffle ahead of the tribunal’s verdict on August 22, 2015. PHOTO: PPI

Earlier, security around the Election Commission office was tightened and roads towards the commission sealed. Entry of any unauthorised person was also prohibited.

Sadiq had defeated PTI chief in the NA-122 constituency after which a complaint was filed in the Election Commission, alleging massive rigging in favour of Sadiq.

Read: Tribunal reserves verdict on plea challenging Sadiq’s victory

Scuffle outside Election Commission office

Several PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers were injured in a clash with the police outside the Election Commission office as they waited for the result to be announced.

According to reports, party workers became violent and removed the barriers set up by the police outside the main entrance to the office.

Commenting on this situation, PTI leader Naeemul Haque said they will hold the province’s administration and police responsible in case of any untoward incident outside the tribunal’s building.

Political workers chant slogans as they wait for the verdict to be announced outside the tribunal’s building in Lahore on August 22, 2015. PHOTO: PPI

“Such inadequate arrangements have been made to counter the situation and maintain law and order,” he said while talking to Express News.

A special anti riot force was also deployed to avert any untoward situation.

Earlier, chairman PTI Imran Khan reached Lahore and addressed his workers regarding the NA-122 verdict.

While the speech focused on electoral training of workers, Imran said he was ready to accept any decision that the tribunal announced.

On August 17, Judge Kazim Ali Malik–who has been hearing the case– had reserved the verdict for August 22.

Further, while concluding his arguments, Anees Ali Hashmi, counsel for Khan, told the judge that nearly 45,000 invalid votes had been polled in the constituency. He said wrong national identity card (CNIC) numbers had been found on a large number of ballot counterfoils; some digits were found missing on many more counterfoils.

Hashmi said verification of counterfoils by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the report of an inquiry commission suggested that the Election Commission’s record was not accurate.

Read: NA-122 inquiry: ‘Sadiq not beneficiary of rigging’

He said the vote counting process had not been correct. The number of votes counted by presiding officers was different from that counted by the inquiry commission.

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Reader Comments (53)

  • Timorlane
    Aug 22, 2015 - 12:29PM

    Of course it will be in favor of Sharif family party’s speaker.

    Like courts election commission is also very sharif.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 22, 2015 - 12:39PM

    If someone can rig an election ( as claimed by Imran )……he can surely ensure it stays rigged.Recommend

  • OBSERVER
    Aug 22, 2015 - 2:33PM

    instead of NA-122… Karachi seats will be presented to Imran Khan in a golden plateRecommend

  • Musadiq Khan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 4:51PM

    @Parvez – That’s what JC report did.Recommend

  • Atif
    Aug 22, 2015 - 5:40PM

    PML-N promised us end to load shedding and lower taxes. Instead there’s no change and new taxes are implemented next time I’ll make sure none of my family or friends vote for PML-NRecommend

  • Z
    Aug 22, 2015 - 6:21PM

    Loonies, please ask your Lord to focus on KPK. Don’t drag yourself in further embarrassment.Recommend

  • Salman
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:13PM

    New life line for Imran Khan and PTI. Huge moral booster. Embarrassing moment for PMLN and its followers.Recommend

  • Bashir
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:22PM

    Congratulations PTI. Now Ayyaz Sadiq will work under some stay orders till the next general elections as he did for two and a half years. Mr Speaker, show some moral courage and accept the decision.Recommend

  • raider
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:25PM

    better for election process may be reformed, otherwise JC had demolished all grounds to reform election process, pti needs not to gloat over this decision rather they should focus on structural reform in kpk and within his party to get win over entrenched status quo parties in next election. Recommend

  • Ejaz Maqsood
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:30PM

    There is no importance of this decision after detailed decision of Judicial Commission. No rigging is proved in NA-122.Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:30PM

    Are PTI trolls happy now? Definitely a setback for government,they would have to elect a new speaker assembly while Ayaz Sadiq contests reelection. Recommend

  • Rabia Junaid
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:32PM

    I am from NA 122. I know that Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is a popular personality in the constituency. In case of re-polling, he will win again with big margin.Recommend

  • Punjabi
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:33PM

    Now as the courts have given a verdict in the Niazi’s favour the courts of Pakistan are the best and until the time they give a decision against him. PTI fans are mentally terminally sick. Recommend

  • rehan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:33PM

    As per decision, there is no rigging.
    Then why re-polling?Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:36PM

    Ayaz Saddiq should challenge verdict in Supreme Court as the verdict has been based on irregularities rather then rigging.. Recommend

  • USMAN
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:40PM

    This decision is strange. No rigging proved. Nothing wrong done by PML-N proved. Nothing wrong done by Ayaz Sadiq proved. Even then re-election.
    STRANGE.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:45PM

    Sardar Ayaz Sadiq lives in our hearts. He will win again. He is a thorough gentle man and seasoned politician. Lahore is with him. I voted for him and I will again vote for him.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:48PM

    A slap on the face of judicial commission!Recommend

  • Dilawar
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:48PM

    Long live Ayaz Sadiq. Allah bless him.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ashraf Malik
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:59PM

    I am surprised at the decision. No organized rigging proved. Only localized irregularities identified. Then why reelection? It will just be wastage of funds accumulated by Government by imposing unjustified and cruel taxes on common Pakistanis. Establishment does not want to give free hand to any single party. Previous decision of Election Tribunal speeks this truth.Recommend

  • Mansoor
    Aug 22, 2015 - 7:59PM

    Wrong decision by Election Tribunal. PML-n should not worry. Sardar Ayaz will easily win in by-elections.Recommend

  • muhammad ahmed khan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 8:04PM

    But still they have power to tilt. SC to revert the decision or ECP to get Ayaz Sadiq back to his seat. After all you cannot underestimate the politics of PML-N.
    They know how to win even they dont have single vote in the constituency. Recommend

  • ashar
    Aug 22, 2015 - 8:07PM

    PTI has one night to celebrate, tomorrow SC will turn down the decision. All Stereotyped. All scripted. And Life will go on.Recommend

  • Fouzia
    Aug 22, 2015 - 8:10PM

    All support for PML-N and Sardar Ayaz.Recommend

  • N Khan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 8:27PM

    lol someone says Speaker Ayaz Sadiq saab should show some courage and accept it- well why didn’t Imran khan show some moral courage and accept it when he LOST to Ayyaz again! Double standards. tehreek insaf is full of sore losers and liars. Mr Speakersab is very respected and inshaaAllah he will will the re election again. Recommend

  • Lolz
    Aug 22, 2015 - 8:29PM

    @USMAN: You are right, even the strangest was Ayaz Sadiq’s win in the first place! Recommend

  • Jawed Saleem
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:11PM

    A telling blow to authenticity/morality of present parliament.
    Decency/etiquette demands Mr.Sadiq/PMLN should not approach Supreme Court.
    Supreme Court verdict won’t mean anything – re-polling and people’s verdict will put end to all the allegations. Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2015 - 9:15PM

    This decision will be challenged in the courts and another decision of PMLN’s choice will be made by our courts. That’s how justice system works in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Careful reader
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:16PM

    Even IF there was no error, severe irregularities and breakdown of fair polling practices is proven and that is more than enough grounds by which to invalidate the election .Recommend

  • Shahfaisal
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:18PM

    What a wicket by IK…
    IK is the man which I had ever see in my life….IK u r the bst….keep it up…God bless u…Recommend

  • Shahfaisal
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:20PM

    What a wicket by IK…Mr. Ayaz don’t take any review bcz u r clearly bold….
    IK is the man which I had ever see in my life,honest,truthfull and perfect….IK u r the bst….keep it up…God bless u…Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2015 - 9:25PM

    What a wicket by IK…Mr. Ayaz don’t take any review bcz u r clearly bold….
    IK is the man which I had ever see in my life,honest,truthfull and perfect….IK u r the bst….keep it up…God bless u…and ur whole team…Recommend

  • azzy
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:37PM

    PMLN will have the last laugh<spanRecommend

  • azzy
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:39PM

    PML-N will have the last laughRecommend

  • excalibur
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:44PM

    Truth Always Triumphs EventuallyRecommend

  • Waqas
    Aug 22, 2015 - 9:45PM

    So no rigging proved n this judge is probably the best judge in the world now. I won’t comment on his tilt for pti , we know the last person gave testimony that i had a head injury n.i don’t remember anything n after that the judge decided it in favor of pti to go for whatever pti wanted. Or it maybe easy way out for the judge n not get called bika hua n get called oye.

    However for pti it is somehow established that pmln wins even without getting a single vote, like it happened in haripur.

    Ayaz sadiq will win again, use biometric devices this time, or maybe use bioMA in case you think matriculation is not enough for those devices ;)Recommend

  • muhammad ahmed khan
    Aug 22, 2015 - 10:01PM

    Whoever is moaning, crying and cursing PTI and IK, must know, current decision stands and proves IK’s stance. He was always right from start…..Recommend

  • Kharal
    Aug 22, 2015 - 10:26PM

    Is this scene related to MQM about aceptance of their resignations by speaker.. Recommend

  • excalibur
    Aug 22, 2015 - 10:30PM

    Judicial Commission findings were not a verdict but an opinion only

    Election Tribunal has given a verdict not an opinion

    Hence, the JC’s Doctrine of Neccesity based opinion has now been torpedoed by a clear legal Judgment by the Tribunal Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • Abacus
    Aug 22, 2015 - 10:57PM

    Lol! Now who will you send for the Commonwealth meet? You get to the speaker’s position by rigging votes and want to deny another country’s democratically elected speaker. Strange democracy you people are!Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 23, 2015 - 12:18AM

    The last CJ gave the main election to Nawaz……the election tribunal has given NA122 to Imran as a consolation prize…….Ayaz Saddiq will make noise but will bite the bullet and ‘ take one for the party ‘. Recommend

  • Israr
    Aug 23, 2015 - 12:48AM

    So people saying no “rigging” proved, hence the decision is “strange”. Let me tell you that this tribunal is not a criminal court so its job is not to fix responsibility. However, anyone with a bit of sanity will understand who benefitted from irregularities. I will think like I am not living in Pakistan and then hope some law enforcement agency, like the provincial police, needs to take up the case and decide who was actually behind rigging. I will stop my wishful thinking there but still hope people can do an unbiased analysis and decide who benefitted from irregularities. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 23, 2015 - 1:53AM

    It proves that Election Tribunal was the right forum to seek justice. Every other trick Imran adopted was wrong , unconstitutional and disastrous for him and country.Recommend

  • Ehtesham
    Aug 23, 2015 - 2:03AM

    Why punishment is given to Ayaz Sadiq if there is no rigging in NA 122?
    If there is any mis-management, Ayaz Sadiq is not responsible for that.
    Pathetic decision by pathetic Election Tribunal.Recommend

  • Observer
    Aug 23, 2015 - 2:08AM

    Is Imran going to spend his entire time in this election and rig game? What is the use of being elected if you are not going to do anything for the people and just be involved in this silly game. When you get your degree, do you spend your life in justifying and arguing your grades with the dean or do you find a job and try to do something better in life.Recommend

  • Samina Ali
    Aug 23, 2015 - 3:44AM

    How are the irregularities the fault of Ayaz Sadiq. He won fair and square and there is no mention of any rigging in the report. Should take the matter to the supreme court.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Aug 23, 2015 - 4:13AM

    If the Supreme Court of Pakistan upholds the tribunal decision, Sardar Ayaz must pay back the pay checks he has been receiving from Pakistan’s Treasury. Any one with decency will do so but knowing Pakistani politicians, it does not matter to them , they will fleece the country till their last breath. It is shameful affair that he was catapulted into Speaker’s seat by PML-N knowing fully well that massive rigging has taken place in NA122. Those responsible for ballot rigging should also be brought to justice. What a way to go.Recommend

  • Tehseen Ullah
    Aug 23, 2015 - 9:42AM

    Well done Imran khan.You made it possible to expose the wrong doings of ECP and PML N.ALLAH will succeed you out in future as well.Recommend

  • Ebaad
    Aug 23, 2015 - 2:12PM

    Huge moment for PTI. 2 wickets down, 2 more to go. For those saying there was no rigging proved. The report mentioned that over 23,000 ballet papers had no signature or stamp of ECP, about 300 voters voted more than once, 377 votes had no thumb impression of the voters. The report also clearly stated that the NADRA cheif provided a supplementary report in bad faith.
    Yet no rigging proved :-DRecommend

  • Shahzad
    Aug 23, 2015 - 5:39PM

    I live in Ichhra Lahore NA-122. I went to the polling booth to cast my vote at 4.30pm. To my shock I was told that my vote had already been casted. I showed my thumbs and original CNIC to the officer but according to his list and the list of all the party observers my vote had already been casted. I asked the officer how it’s possible but he had no answer. I asked him that I will contest my vote, but he was not handing me the form. Then I told him that I will call in the media right away and expose your injustice, then only he gave me the form half heartedly and I filed my vote through contest. I got a call from the reader after about two or three months concerning my contested vote to appear before the court. When I went to the court at the date I was asked to give the polling booth number and the concerned polling officers name. How in the world can I know such details. I told them I will try to find it out till the next hearing. So I went to the UC office which was used as a polling booth for my area. The staff there said that they have no information about it and it’s not their concern. The ECP staff came conducted the elections and went away. I even went to PTI office in Samanabad to get the required information but to no avail. On the next hearing the judge was on leave. I got some information about my polling booth from the ECPs website, but not the requisite information. On next hearing I gave the information that I had to the judge, but he said without the name of the concerned officer they can do nothing. Now is it my duty to find out the polling officers name and present him to the judge, what rubbish is this system. I work in a private factory and to go through all of this cumbersome process is almost impossible. I realized that the process has been deliberately distorted so that the voter get frustrated and back out from his right to vote. What a democracy we live in. My other concern with this incident is that some one apart from me did really casted my vote by showing a fake CNIC of mine. I remember that I saw a news in TV six or seven months before the election that a group was caught near Fazlia Colony who were making fake CNIC to be used in the up coming elections. So the dots do really connect. But who’s going to bell the cat. It’s a law of nature that if a system can not mend itself from with in then an external force becomes necessary to bring about the change, but change us inevitable. The more the system resist the more powerful and shocking the external force will come. Let the force be with you.Recommend

  • Lolz
    Aug 24, 2015 - 4:04AM

    @Samina Ali: Do you live in Pakistan? It seems you haven’t ever stood in a long line for a passport or licence and when you see an elite crosses you without following the line straight to directors office and gets the work done. This is how the irregularities are created deliberately! Recommend

  • Lolz
    Aug 24, 2015 - 4:07AM

    @Samina Ali: Do you live in Pakistan? It seems you haven’t ever stood in a long line for a passport or licence and when you see an elite crosses you without following the line straight to directors office and gets the work done. This is how the irregularities are created deliberately! Recommend

  • Najia Omar Jafri
    Aug 24, 2015 - 2:26PM

    Even in an extreme scenario of re-polling, PTI will definitely lose as it has been losing in every by-election (more than 5, NA-19 being latest) because the voters want performance and cannot be swayed through empty propaganda on social media.
    You can fool some of the people, some of the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time” That is why the Tsunami has fizzled out!Recommend

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