LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Central Punjab, has decided to strongly protest against the massive rigging and fascism unleashed by the police during the by-election of 2024 on Sunday.

The PTI alleges that the incumbent government has engaged in massive rigging in all by-elections, particularly in Gujrat, and has broken all previous records of rigging.

PTI Central Punjab Acting President Hammad Azhar has urged Lahorites to come out against the massive rigging and stage peaceful sit-ins in front of the returning officers’ offices of NA-119 and PP-149 (outside UET); and the RO office of PP-164 at Kahna, Ferozepur Road. He has also suggested organising a sit-in at Regal Chowk (PP-147) and Baidian Road (PP-158).

Mr Azhar stated in a tweet on X, that the February 8 general elections stood as the most rigged and manipulated election in history to date. However, he stated, the April 21 by-election has broken that record with ballot stuffing, pre-signed statements of counts (Form 45), and unlawful arrests.

“This is a shameful mockery of the democratic process,” he commented.

The PTI leader also expressed grave concern over the torture of polling agents.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Salman Akram Raja tweeted that the presence of candidates and election agents at the office of the ROs during consolidation has been barred everywhere.

“This is part of the rigging plan along with the shutdown of the internet. This has set the scene for the use of pre-signed and fictitiously filled-up forms 45,” he added.

Posting a handwritten request from a presiding officer of a polling station for PP-158 (Lahore) by-election, PTI leader Moonis Elahi, who is contesting from this constituency, stated that the presiding officer did not carry Form-45 and she informed the returning officer of the PP-158 by-election. Mr Elahi also posted several videos explaining the scale of rigging unleashed by the establishment.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2024

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