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Tribunal orders re-polling in seven polling stations of upper Chitral

PESHAWAR, Dec 12: The election tribunal here on Thursday directed re-polling in seven constituencies of PK-90 upper Chitral.
breaking_newsThe polling stations where re-polling will be held are: Barum Oweer, Gohkir, Awi Lasht, Reshun Payeen, Sonoghur, Zizdi and Rech Bala. The tribunal of Ziauddin Khattak issued the ruling after it was confirmed that many votes were found missing from the envelopes when the two-member commission recounted the rejected and postal ballot papers and submitted its report to the tribunal in the first week of October. The votes in these polling stations were, therefore, declared void. According to a lawyer, after the receipt of the detailed verdict from the tribunal, the MPA can take stay order from the high court otherwise his election victory will be denotified by the election commission of Pakistan.
It may be noted that on September 12, a two-member tribunal directed recounting of rejected votes and postal ballot papers in PK-90 on the appeal of PPP runner-up Sardar Hussain. In the May 11 election Ghulam Mohammad of the APML was declared as a winner with a lead of just seven votes.
Ghufran Ahmad, the counsel for Sardar Hussain, appeared before the tribunal in Peshawar and contended that the returning officer had erred in not recounting the said two categories of votes which was mandatory under the law. He pointed out that the number of rejected votes was 2,995 whereas the postal ballots were over 2,000. He contended that several votes cast in favour of the petitioner were rejected on flimsy grounds by the concerned presiding officer. The counsel pointed out several flaws in the decision of the returning officer stating that in one of the instance the petitioner had received 37 votes but it was erroneously mentioned as 17. He stated that similarly, three votes were erroneously put in the ballot box meant for the National Assembly by the voters which were not counted by the RO and were instead rejected. The petitioner had bagged 10,841 votes against 10,848 of Ghulam Mohammad.
The commission after recounting the rejected and postal ballots in Chitral on September 30, October 1 and October 2 presented its report to the tribunal giving one-vote lead to Sardar Hussain. But the lawyers of Ghulam Muhammad objected that the commission had crossed its mandate by rejecting his client’s 13 votes simply because they were prefixed with Haji. They also alleged that the commission members had openly supported the PPP candidate. As there was no clear-cut lead of any of the party, the tribunal ordered that re-polling be conducted in the polling stations where there were allegations of vote irregularities.

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