Sarwar said evidence of rigging would be made public and provided to the ECP soon
A delegation led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s provincial organiser Chaudhry Sarwar met the provincial election commissioner Maqsood Ahmed Malik on Wednesday to convey the party’s reservations over the polling scheme and voter lists provided by the commission to candidates for local government elections. Sarwar also expressed reservations over similarity in election symbols printed on the ballot paper. He asked the ECP to hand over voter lists used during the NA-122 by polls as well as attested lists used for the 2013 general elections.
The PTI delegation included Umer Sarafraz Cheema, Yasmeen Rashid, Shafqat Cheema and Shoaib Siddiqi.
Addressing a press conference following the meeting, Sarwar said the delegation had conveyed the party’s concerns regarding voter lists provided by the commission and those being used for the polling scheme. He said the lists were not the same. He said many voters had been moved from several union councils.
Sarwar said the election commissioner had told them that it was too late to change election symbols printed on ballot papers. However, the ECP commissioner had agreed to address the PTI’s reservations on voter lists, promising to hand them over by November 1, Sarwar said.
He said the party had received 600 affidavits from people who claimed their votes had been transferred without their knowledge in the NA-122 by-poll.
“Transferring votes without the explicit request or permission from the voter is a crime. Those involved in this should be taken to task,” he said. He said if the ECP failed to address the party’s concerns, they would hold an inquiry into the matter themselves.
“We will have a clearer picture of the situation once we receive voter lists from the ECP,” he added. Sarwar said evidence of rigging would be made public and provided to the ECP soon.
The PTI organiser commended the role of Pakistan Army during the NA-122 by-poll.
“We do not have have reservations over the role of the army,” he said. “The main issue is the transfer of votes without permission of the voters.”
PTI Lahore’s organiaer Shafqat Mahmood said that it was the ECP’s responsibility to address concerns regarding incomplete voter lists provided to the party’s candidates. He claimed that more than 100 votes in UC-122 had been transferred to other UCs.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.