Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News. Editor: Zar Alam Khan.

Recounting of votes leads to deadlock

CHITRAL, Oct 2: The recounting of postal ballot papers in PK-90 upper Chitral also completed here on Wednesday noon, creating more confusion and deadlock to the issue. As the process to recount the rejected votes and postal ballot papers ended after three days, the two-man commission left Chitral for Peshawar where they will present its report to the election tribunal which under the law can announce the outcome within two weeks after hearing both the candidates or their lawyers. Sources close to the recounting process told ChitralToday that before the start of the recounting of the postal ballots on Wednesday morning the two candidates and their lawyers were told that any paper marked with the names other than mentioned in their nomination forms for the May 11 elections would be considered invalid. In the nomination papers, the PPP candidate had mentioned his name as Sardar Hussain while the APML man was registered as Ghulam Muhammad. So postal ballots papers marked as Syed Sardar Hussain or Sardar Hussain Shah were declared invalid. Similarly, papers marked as Haji Ghulam Muhammad or Al-Haj Ghulam Muhammad were also not accepted by the commission. ctnUnder this rule, at the end of the recounting, Ghulam Muhammad lost 13 and Sardar Hussain five votes. The recounting of rejected votes on Monday and Tuesday had given both the candidates 25 votes each. Now at the end of the recounting, the status of the two candidates is: Ghulam Muhammad 10,848 votes (on May 11) plus 25 votes minus 13 votes = 10,860. Sardar Hussain 10,841 (May 11) + 25 – 5 = 10,861 votes. So, theoretically, Sardar Husaain has got one vote lead against his rival and under the law he can be considered as the winner but it will be up to the election tribunal whether to declare him the winner or order re-elections in the constituency. ChitralToday sources close to the development said during the recounting the two-man commission observed large-scale irregularities created by the polling staff in handling of the rejected votes on May 11. They said most of the envelopes containing the rejected votes were found with their seals broken. Besides, there were also envelopes on which the number of rejected votes written and the actual number of votes inside did not match and there was a big difference. The commission got all such envelopes and other papers photocopied and took them away to present them to the tribunal. The sources also said Ghulam Muhammad may also challenge the recounting especially the decision to reject the postal ballots with the prefix of Haji or Al-Haj. Though in the case of the PPP candidate there might have been some confusion among the voters due to the presence of his namesake, Syed Sardar Hussain Shah, an independent candidate, appending Haji with the name of Ghulam Muhammad of the APML might not have created confusion or affected the decision of the voters. The sources said till the end of the recounting process, the two candidates kept on holding their breaths and at the end left the premises quietly. On the last day of the recounting, a very few supporters of the two candidates turned up outside the district returning officer office in a sharp contrast to the first day. Editor’s note: A correction to a factual error in this story was made on October 3, 2013. Please read the corrigendum at this link: https://www.chitraltoday.net/2013/10/03/corrigendum-from-chitraltoday/ For background to the recounting dispute: https://www.chitraltoday.net/2013/10/02/recounting-ends-more-deadlock-reported/    ]]>

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6 Comments
  1. Salman Ajab says

    The most important thing is not who is the winner but who is going to serve the people of Chitral. We, the people of Chitral, request the government to resolve this problem as soon as possible because due to this problem the development activities in upper Chitral have come to a halt.

  2. M. Wali, Mastuj says

    Both the candidates here are claiming to have won – GM by five votes and Shah Jee by four votes. So it seems your report about just one-vote lead by Shah Jee has big weight. But when Shah challenged GM’s seven-vote victory on May 11 and the tribunal ordered recounting will GM pack and come home? In my view too there is a deadlock and at the end of the day people of upper Chitral will continue to suffer till how long, I do not know.

  3. Kubra Aman, Canada says

    To Zar Alam Khan Chitral Today:
    Hello, this is to just let you know of a small error. I would like to bring to your attention that although you are right about Sardar Hussain having the lead by one vote, your math calculations are not accurate. As you said: “Sardar Hussain 10,841 (May 11) + 25 – 5 = 10,860 votes”. However, when you do the math, 10841 + 25 – 5 does not equal 10,860; it equals 10,861. You concluded saying he has one more vote, which is correct, but you should also match your math at the same time. Whether he won by one vote or a hundred votes, he is clearly the winner. I wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors in assisting Chitral to the best of his abilities. Seeing his young and energetic nature, I’m sure he will not have any problems facing the many challenges that come in his way and making the people of Chitral happy and proud!
    Thank you.
    Regards
    Kubra Aman
    Canada

    1. Editor says

      Thanks for pointing out the error which has now been corrected.–regard

  4. Mohammad Khan, Peshawar says

    Both these two men should be banned and either the candidate who stood third on May 11 should be considered as the MPA or there should be re-election minus Sardar Hussain and Ghulam Muhammad. I say this because the people of not only upper Chitral but the whole Chitral are confused and there seems no end to their Bakwaz war on power.

  5. Nadir Khan, Karachi says

    If your report is to be believed, and I do so, it is against Sardar Hussain’s expectations and he has lost. I pity Ghulam Muhammad that his 13 votes have been snatched from his bag only because some voters in the postal balloting marked him as Haji Ghulam Muhammad. This is ridiculous. But I am not here to debate the election or recounting issue. If you allow me my question is out of context. I take this opportunity to ask some learned people to tell me why someone who goes to Saudi Arabia and performs Haj uses calling himself Haji? Haj is one of the fundamentals of Islam and is mandatory on those who can afford the expenses. It is like praying five times a day, ok. Now if you pray five times a day is there any justification to call you Namazi, etc., and if you pay Zakat should I call you Zakati something? Ostentation is not allowed in Islam and it always backfires. Here too, had Ghulam Muhammad performed Haj in the name of Allah and forgot it, the 13 votes would have remained in his pocket today. Anyway, my prayers are with both the candidates as I am the voter of none of them. Also my prayers are with the people of Chitral, they should come out of this mess and get an MPA who can work for resolution of their issues instead of being embroiled in the election dispute.

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