Pakistan News

PTI accepts defeat, but has reservations

PTI accepts defeat, but has reservations

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Punjab Organiser Chaudhry Sarwar on Monday accepted the NA-122 results but with certain reservations – to be officially revealed after gathering proofs.

Flanked by Abdul Aleem Khan, newly elected MPA Shoaib Siddiqui and MPA Mian Aslam Iqbal at a press conference here, Sarwar admitted the PTI failed to bring out voters to poll.

“Our voters came out late. We might have covered up the PML-N’s lead if the polling time was extended to 6pm,” he added.

MPA Iqbal admitted the party did not get any votes in this election from his area somewhere they had already won, and launched a tirade against the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for shifting many PTI votes from the constituency against the will of voters.

“Nadra has also become a party with the PML-N along with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” he alleged.

He further said the PML-N government had held surveys through various agencies who gathered information about his constituency’s political inclination, adding those favouring the PTI were asked to furnish their addresses as well as identity card numbers. All these voters’ votes were shifted to some other area while keeping them in the dark, adding he would provide proof to the party.

Aleem Khan claimed the PTI could not compare the 2013 voters’ list with the one in this by-election as it was given to them after announcement of the election schedule.

He said he had shattered hopes of the PML-N government of claiming a landslide victory, and was popular in the hearts and minds of his former constituency, PP-147, and reclaimed it from the PML-N’s Mohsin Latif, who is also a close relative of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“The PML-N should seriously think about its falling popularity and position in Lahore,” he asserted.

Seconding Iqbal, he alleged the government had transferred thousands of PTI votes from NA-122 and registered voters were compelled to vote for the ruling party.

“A factory’s employees were registered in the NA-122 constituency just ahead of the election,” he alleged.

Sarwar said the Oct 11 by-elections had proved his party had won against the federal and Punjab government’s bureaucracy, resources, power as well as status quo forces.

“The PTI shattered hopes of the government, which said the award of party ticket to Aleem Khan will get them a landslide victory similar to that in Haripur,” he added.

He also said the ECP had violated the code of conduct as it did not take notice of the involvement of federal and provincial ministers in the election campaign. He said the prime minister had come to Lahore and announced Rs2 billion projects and visited NA-122.

Referring to shifting of votes and other irregularities, Sarwar said the PTI would collect all evidences and proofs.

“If proofs will be strong, the PTI will launch a massive protest campaign against the PML-N’s criminal act,” he warned. “Our protests will eventually streamline the electoral system in the country.”

Published in Dawn, October 13th , 2015

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