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ECP gives nod to ballot review in NA-122

Updated September 17, 2014

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NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. – File Photos
NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. – File Photos

ISLAMABAD: Accepting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s appeal, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday gave a nod to the former to review ballot in NA-122, the constituency in Lahore he had lost to NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of the ruling PML-N, DawnNews reported.

The NA-122 is one of the four constituencies where the PTI had sought a recount and verification of voters’ thumb impressions. Sadiq had defeated Khan in the 2013 general elections and the PTI challenged the results.

Khan had alleged massive rigging after losing to Sadiq in May last year. His appeals of vote recount had been dismissed by the returning officer and the election tribunal also.

Briefing media representatives after an important meeting at the ECP headquarters today, a spokesman of the Election Commission said that Imran Khan can now inspect ballot papers and counter file of the constituency.

He said that the commission has decided to take the electoral material into its custody, adding that ‘strong stores’ would be set up at all four provincial offices of the ECP.

Commenting on the issue of delimitation of constituencies, the ECP spokesman said that a constitutional amendment and a fresh census were prerequisites to carry out the process of delimitation. He said the commission would submit its viewpoint on the proposed law in written.

He said that the decision of appointing Returning Officers (ROs) was not solely taken by then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, but the judicial commission formed on the matter also requested for the same.

The spokesman said that a meeting has been called next week to discuss the issue of local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Imran Khan had claimed that during an investigation into the vote count in PP-147 which fell under NA-122, evidences of wrongdoing had been found. It revealed that in six polling stations opened up, 3,267 of the 4,726 votes could not be verified.

According to the PTI chairman, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had found that CNIC numbers written on 696 vote counterfoils were fake. Besides, 69 per cent of the votes polled in the six polling stations were found to be bogus.