Imran Khan’s party issues white paper calling for judicial commission to probe 'rigging' in February 8 elections

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has alleged “rigging” of the general elections and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe what it described as “snatching of the 180 seats” in Parliament.
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 15:42 IST
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 15:42 IST

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Islamabad: Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party on Thursday issued a white paper on the alleged “rigging” of the February 8 general elections and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe what it described as “snatching of the 180 seats” in Parliament.

The February 8 general elections delivered a fractured mandate. Independent candidates—a majority backed by 71-year-old Khan's PTI party—won 93 seats in the 336-member National Assembly.

Former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won 75 seats while the Bilawal Zardari Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) won 17 seats.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has maintained that the powerful establishment had favoured Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) deliberately used a different form to declare the results to “steal the mandate” that belonged to it.

The PML-N struck a post-poll deal with Bhutto’s PPP, the Pakistan Peoples Party, and four smaller parties to gain power at the federal level.

“We won 180 seats in the (February 8) elections. Our seats were given to other parties through Form 47,” said PTI chairman Barrister Gohar at a press conference alongside other party leaders in Islamabad on Thursday.

The PTI chief said they had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the alleged rigging. “But the plea has not been fixed for hearing as yet,” he lamented.

“We are issuing a 300-page white paper to bring it to the notice of the people as to how their mandate was stolen,” Geo News quoted Gohar as saying.

The PTI also lost the right to the reserved seats as its members contested elections as independent candidates.

Referring to the ECP’s decision to declare the party’s intra-party polls as invalid, the PTI chief further said his party was forced to contest the general elections without its iconic ‘bat’ electoral symbol.

“Our victory was turned into defeat by [manipulating] election results in the Form 47,” he claimed.

The PTI chief said the white paper is based on the reports of international organisations, foreign media and newspapers, and called for carrying out the electoral reforms to eliminate rigging in the polls once and for all.

PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub said the ECP was granted billions of rupees to hold free and fair elections.

“We demand the chief election commissioner to step down,” he said, accusing the polls organising body of failing to hold transparent elections in the country, according to the Geo News report.

Published 02 May 2024, 15:42 IST

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