Pak election commission committee completes inquiry into senior bureaucrat's poll rigging allegations in Rawalpindi: Report

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 22-02-2024 13:57 IST | Created: 22-02-2024 13:57 IST
Pak election commission committee completes inquiry into senior bureaucrat's poll rigging allegations in Rawalpindi: Report
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  • Pakistan

A high-level committee formed by Pakistan's election commission has completed its inquiry into the allegations of poll rigging in the garrison city of Rawalpindi levelled by a senior government officer and will submit its report to the electoral body, a media report said on Thursday.

On Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) formed the committee to probe the explosive allegations levelled by former Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha that widespread rigging aided by the judiciary and the top election body took place against jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Chattha alleged on Saturday that the candidates who were "losing" the February 8 elections "were made to win" in the city. Before resigning from his post, he claimed that 13 candidates from Rawalpindi were forcefully declared winners.

The ECP's inquiry committee formed to investigate the allegations completed its work within the stipulated period of three days and will submit its report to the election commission later in the day, the Dawn newspaper reported.

"The committee has recorded statements of the District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) of Rawalpindi division," an official was quoted as saying.

The official said the DROs and ROs denied the former commissioner's allegations of rigging and the manipulation of results.

This comes amidst consistent allegations by the 71-year-old former prime minister Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party that government and ECP officials were involved in what the PTI founder called the "Mother of All Rigging".

A coalition which could effectively keep Khan out of power was reached by PTI's arch-rivals almost two weeks after the controversial elections marred by rigging allegations.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) struck a power-sharing deal to form a coalition government led by ex-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Khan's party has rejected the attempts by the PML-N and the PPP to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the ''mandate thieves'' will result in the worst political instability.

Independent candidates - a majority backed by the PTI party -- won 93 National Assembly seats.

The PML-N won 75 seats, while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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