ISLAMABAD July 20 (TNS): Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday disposed of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan plea against the victory of PPP candidate Senator Saeed Ghani in a Karachi by-election.
The by-election on a Sindh Assembly constituency, PS-114, in Mahmudabad was held on July 9 and, according to the unofficial result, PPP’s Ghani defeated his close rival, Kamran Khan Tessori of the MQM, with a margin of over 5,000 votes.
The MQM, however, had challenged the results before the ECP and on its plea the ECP had stayed the issuance of a final notification declaring victory of Ghani.
In its short order on Thursday, the ECP directed Tessori to approach the election tribunal to seek relief regarding his petition.
With the ECP order, the stay on issuance of a notification about Ghani’s victory in the by-election stands void.
The MQM had taken the plea that the PS-114 by-election was “completely rigged” by the PPP by using the entire Sindh government machinery and local police. It said the exercise was held in violation of the mandate conferred by the Supreme Court in its judgment which declared the result of the 2013 general election null and void. It asked the ECP to order recounting of the votes of the entire constituency.
PPP’s Ghani had secured 23,840 votes against MQM-P candidate Tessori’s 18,106 votes. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Ali Akbar Gujjar came third as he got 5,353 votes; Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s engineer Najeeb Haroon received 5,098 votes and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Zahoor Jadoon bagged 1,661 votes.
Speaking outside the ECP, Ghani said the PS-114 by-election was one of the most transparent elections in Karachi’s history.
He said Rangers and media personnel were present till the counting of votes in the five polling stations where MQM alleged rigging had occurred.