Fresh LG polls demanded in Karachi, Hyderabad.

ISLAMABAD -- Rejecting the results of the local government (LG) elections held in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declare the results null and void and announce fresh polls.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, PTI's secretary general Asad Umar accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the ruling party in Sindh, of stealing the public mandate in the LG polls held in Karachi by use of force, coercion and intimidation which, he said, the PTI would never accept.

Hours after Mr Umar's presser, Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) released its report based on the polling day observation, declaring that the polling in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions remained peaceful and relatively orderly, but the polls were tainted by allegations of rigging by major political parties over delay in the announcement of results.

Mr Umar said video clips, posted on social media, showed election staff stamping ballot papers. He said a PTI member Amjad Afridi through a video had explained as to how 1,000 votes were brought to a polling station. Later, he said, instead of taking action against those involved in rigging, the authorities arrested Amjad Afridi and 'tortured' him. Similarly, he said, another PTI member was also arrested and tortured when he exposed rigging in Manghopir area of Karachi. Those who came out to protest over the alleged rigging were also arrested after registration of cases against them, he added.

Fafen says polls tainted by delay in result announcement

The PTI's secretary general alleged that a 'helpless' ECP had miserably failed to conduct free, fair and transparent elections. He said a dangerous game was being played in Karachi as every effort was being made to push the metropolis against the wall. He pointed out that even the Jamaat-i-Islami had rejected the results. He was of the view that the residents of Karachi were being deprived of their basic rights through a proper planning. He claimed that despite passage of 48 hours, the results were not announced in many constituencies, adding that the district returning officers (DROs) had admitted that the government was pressurising them.

Fafen Report

According to Fafen, the controversies over the quality of electoral processes do not augur well, particularly when the political parties are preparing for general elections that are constitutionally due by October 11.

'Many of these controversies...

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