PP-07: ECP rejects PTI’s plea to recount votes

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Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday rejected PTI’s petition for the recounting of votes cast in PP-07, Kahuta, after the PTI candidate for the Punjab Assembly constituency challenged the results.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja heard over the petition filed by PTI’s candidate Shabbir Awan.

In a brief ruling, CEC said that the petitioner, Shabbir Awan, could neither prove any fraud or irregularity during the polls nor was he able to state the reasons for the recount.

PTI’s response

Immediately after the verdict was announced, PTI leader Shafqat Mehmood tweeted that the verdict of the ECP was not only against the law but amounted to “undermining the election process”.

“Loss of neutrality and integrity by the ECP has far-reaching consequences for democracy,” the tweet read.

During the Punjab by-elections on Sunday, PML-N’s Raja Sagheer won the by-poll on the provincial assembly seat with a margin of just 49 votes, defeating Awan. The PTI had also raised questions over the delayed announcement of the result in the constituency.

Read: PTI crushes PML-N in Punjab by-polls; What’s next?

Subsequently, Awan submitted an application to the returning officer and requested a recount. His plea was, however, rejected drawing criticism from the PTI.

Later, Awan approached the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench assailing the RO’s “illegal decision” of rejecting a plea for a recount in PP-7.

But on Wednesday, the court restrained the RO from consolidating the result of PP-7 and converted Awan’s petition challenging the RO’s decision to reject a plea for recount into an application to be taken up by the ECP.

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