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PPP candidate threatens hunger strike

ISLAMABAD, May 21: Alleging rigging in his constituency, a losing candidate of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on a provincial assembly seat from Chitral on Tuesday threatened to sit on a hunger strike outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), if his grievances were not addressed.

Interestingly, PPP’s Sardar Hussain, who had contested the May 11 elections from the provincial assembly seat (PK-90) from Chitral, alleges that the rigging has been done in the polls in favour of a candidate belonging to the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) headed by former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Speaking at a news conference at the PPP’s Media Office, Mr Hussain alleged that even dead people had cast votes in his constituency. Former MPA and president women wing Islamabad Nargis Faiz Malik and PPP’s elected member from the adjacent provincial assembly seat (PK-89 Chitral) Salim Khan were also present on the occasion.

The PPP candidate demanded a recount in all the 108 polling stations in his constituency.

According to the official results of the constituency, the PPP candidate had lost the election after a tough fight with only 71 votes. The APML’s Ghulam Mohammad had secured 10,691 votes whereas Sardar Hussain polled 10,620 votes, followed by 9,274 votes by Hussain Ahmed of the JUI-F.

The PPP candidate disclosed that at the time of counting the election official had declared that he had bagged only three votes from one ballot box. However, he said, when on his demand a recount was ordered it transpired that he had got 101 votes.

He warned that he would sit on hunger strike till death in front of ECP and people of Chitral would also join him in the protest, if the ECP did not order a recount of the votes on his application which he had already submitted before the concerned authorities.