Recount, Re-evaluation of votes begins across Pakistan

WEB DESK: The re-tabulation of votes in different constituencies across the country began on Saturday.

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Sialkot, Tehreek -e- Insaaf stalwart Usman Dar’s recount plea has been actend upon and the returning officer of Sialkot ordered a recount in 15 polling stations.

The staff has been directed to complete the recount process today.

Badin, NA 230 and PS-73 have officially entered the recount process as GDA heavyweight Fahmida Mirza deemed the initial count as unsatisfactory.

PP-68 MandiBahauddin, recount has declared PTI candidate Gulraiz Afzal Chan as the winner, the request for the recount was moved by Qamar Khan an independent candidate.

PP-270 Muzzafargarh, Independent candidate Abdul Hayi Dasti was declared victorious.

Returning Officer of NA-129 has summoned the winning candidate, PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq for a recount of votes for the constituency.

Sadiq received 103,021 votes from NA-129 Lahore 7 constituency to win a seat in the National Assembly. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Abdul Aleem Khan was the runner-up, trailing behind Sadiq with 94,879 votes.

Pakistan’s prominent political parties rejected the outcome of elections won by the Imran Khan-led PTI. The All Parties Conference (APC) announced protests demanding new polls over rigging allegations.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also accepted PML-N leader and former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique’s petition for a recount.

Recounting is also being carried out for Faisalabad’s NA-108 and NA-106 constituencies, and Multan’s NA-154 and NA-157 constituencies.

The announcement by APC, including the outgoing PML-N, is a fresh obstacle to power for Khan after delayed results finally showed he had won an emphatic victory — though he will need to seek a coalition to form a government.

The nationwide polls held Wednesday have been criticised by the United States, the European Union (EU), and other observers after widespread claims that the playing field was fixed in Khan’s favour.

While some have dubbed it “Pakistan’s dirtiest election,” Khan’s victory, for now, represents an end to decades of rotating leadership between the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that was punctuated by periods of military rule.

PML-N, PPP and others have alleged “blatant” rigging over the vote count. “We think a robbery has been committed,” Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, the head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party told reporters.

The vote was meant to be a rare democratic transition in the country but was marred by violence and allegations of interference in the months leading up to the vote, with Khan seen as the beneficiary.

The US said it was concerned about “flaws” in the pre-electoral process, but was ready to work with the new government.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Washington agreed with the EU’s observation that “positive changes to the legal framework for elections in Pakistan” were eclipsed by “restrictions on freedom of expression and unequal campaign opportunities.”

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