The PTI said on Sunday that the Form 47 of 18 National Assembly (NA) seats allegedly won by the party were “falsely changed” by returning officers (RO).

Thursday’s general election had seen mobile services suspended and a delay in the announcement of the preliminary results, an exercise which was extended till the weekend.

On Friday, following the victory of candidates with its support, the PTI had claimed it had become the single largest party in the Centre and two provinces and vowed to get back its iconic ‘bat’ symbol.

In an AI-generated message on Imran Khan’s official X account, a message attributed to the erstwhile party chief congratulated supporters on winning the 2024 general elections and securing a two-thirds majority. The message also echoed allegations of rigging, claiming that the party was winning “170 seats” according to Form 45s.

Separately, PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan had lamented that when the results started pouring in late on Thursday night and the trend clearly showed that PTI was taking a clear lead in the Centre, KP, and Punjab, the “poll manipulators” first slowed down the process of announcement of results and subsequently halted the process altogether to “tamper with the results”.

“PTI candidates were clearly winning with a huge margin in several constituencies, including Islamabad at night, but ironically, their clear victory was converted into defeat in the morning because political engineering was going on behind the scenes,” he had said.

It should be mentioned that political parties, including PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, have also been staging protests against alleged rigging in the polls.

Today, PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub said the Form 47 (provisional results) of 18 National Assembly seats were “falsely changed”.

“These seats have been won by PTI. The mandate given by the people of Karachi to PTI is being stolen by these corrupt, spineless bureaucrats,” he said.

A day ago, he had sent a “clear message” to ROs and warned them about initiating legal cases against them for “tampering with Form 47s maliciously”.

“You have betrayed public trust. We will name you in Parliament and summon you before the parliamentary committees. We will pursue cases against you until you are dismissed from service.

“The choice is yours. Rectify your blunder or then face legal consequences and the penalty imposed on you by the courts,” he had said.

Several other PTI-backed independent candidates had earlier said that they had won as per the Form 45 such as NA-151’s Meher Bano Qureshi and NA-128’s Salman Akram Raja.

PML-N forms legal cell to address rigging allegations

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the party conducted extensive consultations and formed a legal team to address rigging allegations, emphasising the party’s stance to fully defend its case in court.

Speaking to reporters in Lahore today, the former law minister said that PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique’s electoral defeat did not result in the party approaching the courts.

Criticising the PTI, Tarar accused it of habitually fabricating falsehoods to create an illusion of truth.

“We also have concerns but we accepted the mandate and we said that the election process happened in front of the camera’s eye and we respect whoever has gotten the mandate,” he said.

Tarar said no single party could form the next government and there was a need for all parties to weigh in on the decision, leading to a coalition government with representation from all political parties and provinces.

Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Uzma Bukhari claimed that the PTI’s rigging allegations only came forward after the party saw its candidates losing the general elections.

She alleged that the PTI had set a “new tradition” by filing writ petitions for the constituencies it lost, adding that Salman Akram Raja was the first to do so.

Bukhari called on all institutions to work within their domain, saying that the election tribunals were the appropriate forum to register complaints about rigging or results.

She added that the PML-N also had reservations about Mansehra’s NA-15.

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