PML-N terms by-elections satisfactory as PTI alleges rigging

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has termed the Sunday’s by-elections satisfactory while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) alleged that “rigging tactics” were employed in the by-polls.

Speaking on Geo News programme Naya Pakistan, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said that the voter turnout of today’s by-elections is a “big message” for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“PTI voters have not come out today [during by-elections],” Sanaullah claimed while speaking on Geo News programme Naya Pakistan, adding that his party was satisfied with the poll results and had always accepted the election outcomes.

Calling upon political parties to use relevant forums for addressing the election-related complaints, he was of the view that the Nawaz Sharif-led party used to raised objections to the election results “within the system” but the PTI founder Imran Khan always tried to “bulldoze” the existing mechanism.

Commenting on today’s electoral event, the PML-N stalwart said that voter turnout is usually low in by-polls and only loyal supporters head towards the polling stations for their parties.

He expressed satisfaction over the by-polls and said that results were pouring in from all polling stations, as well as Form 45 was being issued.

Sanaullah said the complaints would be lodged if any wrong doing was committed on the polling day.

The former interior minister, who faced defeat by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf backed independent Dr Nisar Jutt in the February 8 nationwide polls on Faisalabad’s NA-100 seat, urged PTI central leader Ali Muhammad Khan that he should sit with the PML-N to identify and address flaws via reforms in the electoral system instead of “bulldozing” the system.

He added that his party has always worked for the betterment of the country and invited political stakeholders to resolve issues via dialogues.

Regarding Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Sanaullah said that they would hold talks with the religio-political party’s chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, to address his grievances.

PTI’s Ali Muhammad Khan, speaking on the same programme, said that his party has a massive public support and it does not need to rig the polls.

He alleged that the same rigging tactics have been repeated in the by-elections today which were used in the February 8 general polls. He claimed that polling staffers were coerced in today’s by-polls.

The PTI leader further said that the Punjab voters voted for his party, but “someone else is making election results”.

However, he termed the election results of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where the Imran-founded party formed its government, legitimate and asked political parties to lodge legal complaints if they found any irregularity in the previous polls.

During today’s by-polls on 21 national and provincial assembly seats, the polling process was marred by violent clashes between workers of different political parties in different areas of Punjab amid suspended cellular and internet services to maintain law and order.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered action after taking notice of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) worker’s killing in a violent clash during the by-elections in Punjab’s Narowal and complaints regarding alleged abduction of polling staff.

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