KARACHI: The leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded a recount of votes cast in the NA-249 Karachi by-election.
PML-N leader Miftah Ismail has penned a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner demanding a recount of votes. In his letter, Miftah Ismail has stated that the results from more than 30 polling stations have not been received. He has also expressed serious reservations regarding the attitude of some presiding officers.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has also demand a recount, saying that as per law, a recount is possible if difference of votes is less than 5%. Shehbaz said he hoped the Chief Election Commissioner will ensure the requirements of the constitution and transparency are met.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressed a press conference on Saturday and said that the election in Karachi had become even more controversial than the one in Daska.
Shahid Khaqan claimed that on the day of the election, he went to the RO, who said that he did not have any details or record of form 45. Despite the passage of 6 hours, the results of many polling stations did not arrive, Abbasi added.
He said that if elections are not kept transparent, questions will be raised. Abbasi said that according to the data they have received, PML-N has more votes and that a recount was the only way to correct the irregularities in the results.
On Friday, Miftah Ismail had submitted three written pleas to the returning officer of NA-249 constituency, demanding a recount and seeking details from the Election Commission.
In his petitions, Miftah Ismail demanded a forensic audit of 15 polling stations in the constituency as well as verification of voters’ fingerprints. On Saturday, Miftah Ismail and PTI leader Amjad Afridi’s pleas seeking a recount were rejected by the Returning Officer.
These petitions came in result of PPP’s win in Thursday’s NA-249 by-election, with its candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel securing 16,156 votes while Miftah Ismail was a close second with 15,473 votes.