Petitioner claims ECP made the election controversial
The Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected on Friday PTI’s plea to suspend the Election Commission of Pakistan’s orders for a re-election in NA-75 Sialkot constituency.
The bench headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial heard the petition filed by PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi.
Justice Bandial noted that the ECP called for the re-election due to violation of law as 20 presiding officers were missing in the constituency until the next morning.
Phones of several officers were switched off and they returned to work at the same time, the judge said. He questioned if these officials had gone missing to have breakfast.
In his arguments, Malhi’s counsel accused the commission of making the election controversial over the negligence of a deputy superintendent of police. An inquiry should have been taken place in this regard, he said.
The judge said the decision to order a re-election was an administrative one, which had to be taken quickly. The lawyer said this should have also been scrutinized.
The ECP ordered re-election in Sialkot’s NA-75 after the results of February 19 by-election were challenged by members of the opposition.
The PML-N accused the PTI of attempting to rig the polls after some presiding officers went missing during the vote count.
The officers came to the ECP in the morning of February 20 with the results, claiming that they left early “because the fog was too dense”.
An electoral tribunal heard the case over the objections raised by opposition members and ruled that the by-election was neither fair nor just.