PM Imran invites Opposition for talks on election reforms

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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited Opposition to sit with the government and select from available electronic voting machine (EVM) models to restore credibility of elections held in the country.

The premier’s call is outcome of election rigging claims being made by most of the contestant parties about recently held NA-249 Karachi by-polls.

PM Imran in a series of tweets said, “In NA 249 bye election, despite a low turnout, all parties are crying foul & claiming rigging. Same happened in Daska recently & in Senate elections. In fact, apart from 1970 election, in every election claims of rigging have raised doubts over credibility of election results”.

He recalled that results of 133 National Assembly constituencies in 2013 elections were challenged in the election tribunals, adding: “We asked for examination of just 4 constituencies’ votes & in all 4 rigging was established. But it took us a yr & a 126-days dharna to get a Judicial Comm which found over 40 faults in conduct of elections”.

He regretted that no substantive reforms were put in place to address the grievances.

The premier asserted, “Technology & use of Electronic Voting Machines are the only answer to reclaim credibility of elections. I invite the Opposition to sit with us & select from EVM models we have available to restore our elections credibility.”.

While referring to latest presidential election in the US, he said that Donald Trump’s team did everything to dispute 2020 presidential election result, but it failed to find any irregularity as technology was used in electoral process.

“For a year now we have been asking the Opposition to cooperate with us & help reform our present electoral system,” he said.

He said that the PTI government is determined to reform the electoral system through the use of technology. He said that the measures will bring transparency and credibility to country’s elections besides strengthening democracy in Pakistan.

NA-249 Election Results

The Pakistan People’s Party bagged victory in the NA-249 Karachi by-election held on Thursday, defeating the Pakistan Muslim League-N contender by 683 votes.

According to the official results, PPP candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel secured 16,156 votes against Miftah Ismail’s 15,473.

Surprisingly, the now proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan stood third as its candidate Allama Nazir Ahmed secured 11,125 votes.

The results further stated that the Pak Sarzameen Party candidate Mustafa Kamal bagged 9,227 votes.

To the surprise of many, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which had won the seat in the last general elections, came fifth in the race.

Amjad Afridi could manage only 8,922 votes. The seat was last held by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement candidate Muhammad Mursaleen, who now received 7,511 votes.

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