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Pakistan: Opposition alleges Bilawal Bhutto-led PPP of rigging Sindh local body elections

ANI | Updated: Jun 29, 2022 19:22 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan], June 29 (ANI): leaders and workers of several Opposition parties in Pakistan on Tuesday staged demonstrations and sit-ins outside election offices accusing Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari of indulging in rigging and widespread violence in the first phase of the local government election in Sindh province.
The opposition parties which are holding demonstrations include Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Grand Democratic Alliance, Larkana Awami Ittehad and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The protests were led by Dr Safdar Abbasi, general secretary GDA, Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, general secretary JUI-F Sindh, GDA MPA Moazzim Abbasi and others, it reported.
People in Sindh are fed up with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for the prolonged power loadshedding by K-Electric which has created a law and order situation in Karachi.
The main entrance was blocked and Police personnel were deployed to control the situation at the election office.
Dr Abbhasi claimed that the District Registration Offices (DRO) and the RO were instrumental in the rigging of the election, but no action was taken by the Election Commission, the local media reported.
Abbhasi congratulated the candidates, backed by the GDA, JUI-F, and LAI, who lost by 50 to 100 votes, and said, Maneuvering was still on to change the result of the Ghotki election, the dawn reported.
He asked Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to desist from stealing peoples' mandate, otherwise, they would once again take to the streets to save sanctity of vote.
The GDA general secretary added that the votes had been purchased, and PPP MNA Khursheed Junejo himself had allegedly stamped ballot papers in polling stations.
"We have fully resolved to go to courts and ECP to take back our 'stolen' mandate," Abbhasi said.
The publication quoted Maulana Soomro mentioning that over 150 party members were injured during the violence, and at least 100 to 150 votes at every polling station in all 14 districts of the country did not have any thumb impressions.
"Therefore, we reject the polls results," Soomro said.
Soomro claimed that Pakistan's Election Commission made two lists of the result, but the 'flawed' list was handed out creating doubts about the transparency and he suggested carrying out a forensic audit of the results of only two union councils.
Protests were also carried out outside the deputy commissioner's office in Mirpurkhas by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) workers and office-bearers.
The protestors claimed of securing two seats at different places in the city and outskirts, but the presiding officers were under pressure from PPP returning officers.
Notably, voting for the first phase of local government elections was held in 14 districts of Sindh on Sunday.
While polling began in the morning in all 14 districts, reports of violence, scuffles and ECP mismanagement were reported from upper and lower Sindh regions. These clashes were said to emerge out of missing election symbols as well. Polling was suspended at various polling stations.
At least two people including the brother of a PTI candidate were killed in the clashes that broke outside the polling stations in the province. (ANI)

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