Saturday, June 25, 2022

ECP hears ballot papers theft case in NA-240 by election

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday heard ballot papers theft case during by election in Karachi’s NA-240 constituency, ARY News reported.

An ECP panel headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the case.

ECP had summoned the presiding officer of one of the polling stations of NA-240 Karachi who was accused of stealing the ballot.

Special Secretary ECP told the commission that the presiding officer has been accused of ballot papers theft. The PO denied the allegation in the ECP hearing.

“There is also CCTV footage,” SSP Faisal Baseer said. “A political worker had tried to steal but could not succeed,” police officer said.

The election commission ordered the special secretary to file complaint of the case with the police.

“A passerby was killed in exchange of fire between political workers,” SSP told the panel. “Two Klashnikov’s, which were used in firing, were recovered from political workers. The police has registered four FIRs,” SSP said.

“No ballot box or paper lost at any polling station. Police detained 25 political workers of parties,” he added.

“It is a clear case but the SSP did nothing,” CEC remarked. He directed for formation of three-member committee to determine the role of the returning officer, DRO and the police,” CEC said. He also ordered writing a letter to the chief minister of Sindh and I.G. Sindh over the role of the police. “Police has committed negligence and the department did nothing as six days have passed,” CEC said.

The CEC directed the SSP to record statements of all accused and report those who refuse to cooperate. The next hearing of the case will be held after 10 days, CEC said.

Presiding Officer said in the hearing that his life was in danger. “We will direct the I.G. Police to provide security to you,” CEC said. ” Please ensure security of my life,” PO pleaded. “I could not afford to travel Islamabad again and again,” he complained. “Commission will bear your expenses when will it summon you,” the CEC told the presiding officer.

The ECP had also issued notice to Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal for insulting the presiding officers and snatching ballot papers during NA-240 by-elections.

The electoral watchdog has summoned the PSP chairman to Islamabad on June 22 at 10 am.

The electoral watchdog has summoned the PSP chairman to Islamabad on June 22 at 10 am.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) successfully retained the National Assembly seat from NA-240 Karachi, following a nail-biting contest with TLP in the by-election marred by violence, low voter turnout and allegations of rigging.

According to unofficial results, the MQM-P candidate Muhammad Abu Bakr bagged 10,683 votes, followed by TLP’s Shahzada Shahbaz who secured 10,618 votes.

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