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NA-122 by-poll: Aleem Khan files petition alleging 'technical rigging'

NA-122 by-poll: Aleem Khan files petition alleging 'technical rigging'

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Aleem Khan on Thursday filed a petition with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) challenging the results of the NA-122 by-election held in October.

Khan said, "We have stronger evidence than we did before to deseat Ayaz Sadiq."

National Assembly (NA) Speaker and PML-N leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who contested the NA-122 by-election against Aleem Khan in October reclaimed the 'Takht-i-Lahore', from which he had been deseated by an election tribunal in August this year.

The tribunal's decision followed a petition submitted by PTI Chairman Imran Khan who had challenged the 2013 election result on grounds of rigging.

Sadiq had been elected to the NA from the same constituency in the 2013 general election, defeating PTI Chairman Imran Khan for the seat.

Aleem Khan made Sadiq and at least 10 others party to the petition filed with the ECP today.

The party today alleged the PML-N attempted technical rigging in the by-polls, saying that votes had been deleted and new voters were registered.

A PTI press release says that between the 2013 general election and Oct 2015, 30,500 voters were added, transferred, or deleted from electoral rolls in the constituency.

During this time period, the party says, only 7,000 new voters came of age and were automatically recorded. Of the remaining 23,000 voters, the records of only 812 voters were provided to the PTI by the ECP.

The ECP said that providing records of the rest of the voters is the responsibility of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Aleem Khan claimed NADRA had not given the party any record despite being approached twice.

The party said the ECP, under the 1974 Electoral Rules Act should take suo motu notice, dismissing the results of the by-poll and ordering an inquiry into the incident.

The PTI said those responsible should be held punishable. The party also said they had received reports of instances of voting irregularities and gave the example of an incident in which they claimed 30-50 people in one household cast votes during the by-election.

Aleem Khan said the party would challenge the NA-122 results in the election tribunal.

Ayaz Sadiq had challenged the election tribunal’s decision to deseat him in the Supreme Court on grounds that the "election tribunal’s impugned order was against facts and relevant laws".

His party had decided to contest the NA-122 by-poll in October in light of the election tribunal’s order.

Following the NA-122 win, Sadiq took oath as an MNA and then was elected NA Speaker again, becoming the first person in the country's history to have been elected NA Speaker for the second time during the same government's tenure.

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