ECP orders re-election in Quetta's PB-26 constituency

Published November 15, 2018
Hazara Democratic Party leader Ahmed Ali Kohzad's election to Quetta's PB-26 constituency. — Photo courtesy Ahmed Kohzad Twitter/File photo
Hazara Democratic Party leader Ahmed Ali Kohzad's election to Quetta's PB-26 constituency. — Photo courtesy Ahmed Kohzad Twitter/File photo

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday ordered re-polling in Quetta's PB-26 constituency after declaring the election of Balochistan MPA Ahmed Ali Kohzad null and void.

Hazara Democratic Party's Kohzad had received 5,117 votes in the July 25 polls against Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal runner up Wali Muhammad's 3,242 votes.

The lawyers for both candidates were present before the ECP's two member commission today, which was headed by Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro.

According to a report, Kohzad is an Afghan national, Soomro said, adding that the PB-26 poll could be declared null and void.

The ECP Punjab member Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi mentioned a writ petition that had been submitted to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) by Wali Muhammad against Kohzad's election, alleging that he was an Afghan national.

Separately, Kohzad himself had also challenged the National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) blocking of his computerised national identity card in the BHC. In an earlier hearing, the Quetta deputy commissioner submitted a report in court saying that the HDP leader was an Afghan national.

Wali Muhammad's lawyer today said that the BHC had already issued notices to the parties involved in the case. He had requested that the runner-up be declared the winner.

The ECP, however, rejected his request. "How can we impose you on those who have not given you a vote?" asked the ECP Punjab member.

Qureshi added that there was no provision within the law for declaring a runner-up winner after the elected candidate was disqualified.

Subsequently, the ECP declared Kohzad's election null and void and ordered re-polling in PB-26.

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