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HYDERABAD: An election tribunal on Friday ordered re-election on all 37 polling stations of PS-59 (Badin-V) which was won by Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Mohammad Nawaz Chandio in the May 2013 general election.

Mr Chandio’s victory was challenged by his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Mohammad Ismail Rahu.

The tribunal headed by Ashfaq Baloch directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to de-notify the respondent, Mr Chandio, and hold re-election in the constituency.

The verdict said a report by National Database and Registration Authority on thumb impressions proved corrupt and illegal practices in the voting, as alleged in the petition, affidavit of witnesses and application for verification of thumb impressions. “Therefore, it proves beyond any shadow of doubt that on these polling stations bogus votes were polled and managed,” added the verdict.

Mohammad Ismail Rahu
Mohammad Ismail Rahu

The tribunal noted that Nadra was an independent institution and its report showed that on all 37 polling stations, 4,979 votes were polled by persons whose thumb impressions did not match with those of genuine voters and 132 votes were polled more than once while 85 votes were without CNIC numbers.

A total of 5,196 votes were not polled by genuine voters and were bogus. Out of 37 polling stations, the respondent secured more votes than the petitioner at 34 polling stations and in the remaining three polling stations the petitioner polled more votes than him, it said.

The judge observed that on three polling stations only 98 bogus votes were polled while in the 34 polling stations where the respondent secured more votes, 4,881 bogus votes were cast.

Mohammad Nawaz Chandio
Mohammad Nawaz Chandio

It was strange that out of 26,947 votes only 7,715 voters were said to be authentic. The matter became even more serious after the recount which resulted in a difference of only 1,072 votes between the returned candidate and the petitioner, he said, adding the Nadra report proved corrupt practices in voting.

Ismail Rahu was represented by Advocate Parkash Kumar and Barrister Jawad while Zaheeruddin S. Leghari appeared on behalf of the PPP candidate at the tribunal.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2015

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