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ECP orders recount of votes in Larkana’s PS-13

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered a recount in PS-13 (Larkana) – the seat won by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Hizbullah Bughio.

The ECP issued the order following a petition was filed by Grand Democratic Alliance candidate Adil Altaf for recounting in the constituency. The case was heard by the ECP bench headed by the chief election commissioner.

According to the petition, a total of 103,965 votes were casted in the constituency, out of which 99,379 votes were found to be correctly polled.

Meanwhile, the ECP has also order­ed re-polling at two polling stations in Balochis­tan’s PB-41 (Washuk) constituency.

After a candidate pointed out to the ECP that results of two polling stations were missing from the final result of the constituency, it emerged that presiding officers of the two stations had been abducted by some masked men and were given copies of Form 45 with fabricated number of votes polled in favour of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s (MMA) candidate in the constituency.

The issue was taken up by the ECP after a petition filed by Balochistan Awami Party’s Mir Mujeebur Rehman Mohammad Hasani, drew its attention to the discrepancies in the results of the constituency.

During the course of the hearing, a returning officer told the commission that two presiding officers were allegedly abducted by the masked men on polling day and the results of the two polling stations were excluded from the final result.

The ECP had earlier reserved its decision regarding the results of the two polling stations.

The Election Commission of Pakistan and officials of the National Database and Registration Authority have also rejected criticism relating to use of i-voting process for overseas Pakistanis in the October by-elections.

The ECP Director General of Public Relations Nadim Qasim reiterated that overseas Pakistanis have the right to vote and that this was an effort that political parties should admire.

“The ECP is not acting in haste,” he said: “it is fulfilling its constitutional responsibility.”

The process of registering overseas voters is ongoing, the ECP spokesman said. It began on September 1 and will conclude by the 15 of the month. The commission hopes that the maximum number of voters can be registered in the last few days.

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