Bilawal’s votes ‘changed’ in Lahore, says Sherry

Published February 10, 2024
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference in Lahore on Feb 9. — DawnNewsTV
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference in Lahore on Feb 9. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: PPP Senator Sherry Rehman on Friday alleged that party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s votes had gone missing in the NA-127 constituency of Lahore, blaming the blockage of mobile phone and data services for the chaos.

Speaking at a press conference, Ms Rehman recalled that the party was not provided with Form 45 until 10pm on election day (Feb 8) and was not allowed to meet the returning officer.

“Until now, we have not received the consolidated result […] the results have been changed,” Ms Rehman claimed, according to a Dawn.com report.

She said that it was a democratic right to question the polling process in a few constituencies and that “it does not mean we prematurely reject the whole process”.

She said a lack of explanation for the sudden changes in the results of the NA-127 constituency was unexpected and merited scrutiny. “In NA-127, everything happened behind closed doors. People’s right to vote was taken away,” she said.

“We will patiently await the results before issuing PPP’s final statement on the polls,” Ms Rehman said. “We are asking for the right figures, which is our constitutional right. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has consistently demonstrated grace in both victory and defeat, and our approach has consistently steered away from advocating for conflict and instability.”

She said the PPP’s commitment remained focused on upholding democratic values and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process.

Ms Rehman alleged that after the results from 85 polling stations, the PPP chief polling agent was removed from the office of the returning officer.

In response to media questions, she said that questions arose when there was a lack of transparency. “I did not see any security problem. If the rest of the results came out quickly, why did the results for NA-127 not arrive on time? No action was taken on PPP’s 23 complaints in NA-127,” she lamented.

According to Form 47 issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, PML-N’s Ataullah Tarar secured the highest number of votes, i.e. 98,210, in the NA-127 constituency, followed by independent candidate Malik Zaheer Abbas (82,230) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (15,005).

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2024

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