Elections For NA-125 And PP-155 Will Take Place Again After Court Passed Judgment

The fight over NA-125 had been going on since the results were announced for the elections of 2013. Khawaja Saad Rafique, the winning PMLN candidate from NA-125, had been denying the many allegations made by PTI about the rigging at the constituency. The nation has been demanding justice for more than a year now but there was delay. However, the tribunal on the elections of 2013 gave a decision on Monday that the elections will take place once again for NA-125 and PP-155. The winners on both the seats belong to PMLN.

Hamid Khan, the runner up for NA-125, who had been seeking justice since the elections filed a petition in the court for election rigging. According to him Khawaja Saad Rafique was personally involved in rigging the elections at these constituencies. However, the election tribunal has clearly stated that the decision to revote has not been based on the fact that Khawaja Saad Rafique or Mian Naseer Ahmed (PMLN candidate for PP-125) were personally involved in rigging the results. The election tribunal has given the verdict that reelections are being held in the light of the facts that the officials at the constituency were not able to perform their duties according to law.

The elections will take place again due to the irregularities on the voting day. Several misconducts were associated with the returning officer at the constituency. The first irregularity from returning officer was that the list of polling personnel that was used was not prepared by the RO. The list needs to be approved at least 15 days before the voting day but this was not done too. It was also mentioned that amendments were made into the list of personnel just a few days before the elections and this action was not reported to Election Commission of Pakistan.

RO did not supervise the voting properly and electoral rolls were not distributed properly too. It was also declared that the RO was so casual in his behavior that he did not bother to see the stamps and signatures of the presiding officers when he received the vote count from them. Instead he preferred to receive the vote count verbally from the presiding officers. The returning officer passed the final results without exploring the polling bags and no count of the votes that could have been challenged and excluded from the results was done.

The judge of the election tribunal was Javed Rasheed. The judge concluded that there were several irregularities in how results were announced and the votes were also put into bags without properly putting them into envelopes and sealing them. The tribunal judge also mentioned the confession from the RO that the data he announced about the results of the elections was not calculated by him. All the data was given to him through USB. Eventually, the decision for reelections was given but under the lights of the fact that the election officials at the constituency were the main cause of irregularities due to their non-serious behaviors.

On the other hand, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Mian Naseer Ahmed have been absolved of any allegations made by Hamid Khan regarding their personal involvement in rigging the elections. However, Khawaja Saad Rafique does not seem happy with the decision as his immediate press conference after the decision showed that he was not in favor of reelections. He said he did not want to play blame games with Hamid Khan.

Most of the PTI supporters have shown great rejoice at the decision whereas some have shown their discontentment at late justice, and some people believe the corrupt system will not change the result of the elections still.