Opposition says PPP ‘conspiring to rig’ next phases of LG elections

Updated 10 Nov 2015

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Accompanied by PML-N’s Senator Raheela Magsi, PML-F’s Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Abdul Kareem Jatoi of the Awami Ittehad, Ghulam Shah of the SUP and Ismail Shah Shirazi of the Shirazi group, former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim speaks to reporters outside the provincial ECP headquarters on Monday.—White Star
Accompanied by PML-N’s Senator Raheela Magsi, PML-F’s Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Abdul Kareem Jatoi of the Awami Ittehad, Ghulam Shah of the SUP and Ismail Shah Shirazi of the Shirazi group, former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim speaks to reporters outside the provincial ECP headquarters on Monday.—White Star

KARACHI: Several opposition parties on Monday expressed fears of rigging in the second and third phases of the local government elections in Sindh and alleged that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party was “conspiring and exploiting its position”.

They also blamed that the Election Commission of Pakistan for not meeting the required level of its job.

Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, PML-N, Awami Ittehad, Sindh United Party (SUP), Shirazi Group and other parties shared their thoughts with media outside the ECP office, where they came to meet senior officials.

They said the PPP was “conspiring” to rig the LG elections and the ECP was overlooking all “unconstitutional exercises”.

They also regretted the “non-serious” approach of ECP officials towards the Sindh LG elections.

“We were scheduled to meet ECP Secretary Babar Fateh Muhammad but when we came here we were informed that he is on a visit to Hyderabad to review polling day arrangements,” Sindh chief of the PML-N Muhammad Ismail Rahu told reporters. “He returned from Hyderbabad in the evening but couldn’t manage to meet the opposition parties and finally we held a meeting with the provincial election commissioner to convey our concerns and suggestions.”

He said the parties had requested the ECP to look into the rigging allegations against the PPP during the first phase of the LG elections in Sindh and make sure that no such practice was repeated in the next phase of the polls.

Blaming the PPP government for using its authority in Sindh districts to influence polling staff, the leaders called upon the authorities to depute employees of federal institutions as polling staff.

“We have not left a single point of our concerns and briefed the ECP about each and everything,” said former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim. “If the PPP is not checked and stopped from rigging this time we keep our democratic and constitutional rights reserved to launch a protest movement across the province against such irregularities.”

PML-N’s Senator Raheela Magsi, PML-F’s Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Abdul Kaeem Jatoi of the Awami Ittehad, Ghulam Shah of the SUP and Ismail Shah Shirazi of the Shirazi group were also present.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2015