NA-75 Daska by-elections: Supreme Court upholds ECP’s re-polling decision
Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has upheld ECP’s decision, directing re-polling to be held in entire constituency of NA-75 Daska, Sialkot.
In its brief verdict, SC bench headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial, upheld Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision of holding re-polling in NA-75 Daska by-elections.
It is to be noted that PTI candidate Asjad Ali Malhi had filed a petition in SC against ECP’s decision of re-polling in the constituency, whereas PML-N had demanded re-polling to be held in 109 constituencies.
Reacting on apex court’s verdict, PTI leader Usman Dar has said that the party accepts Supreme Court’s verdict and will not criticize the court like the opposition.
NA-75 and PP-51 seats were vacated after PML-N’s MNA Syed Iftikhar-ud-Din and MPA Chaudhry Shaukat Manzoor Cheema passed away in August and June 2020
Both PTI and PML-N had fiercely contested the by-elections; PTI had fielded Ali Asjad, whereas PML-N’s Noshin Iftikhar contested the NA-75 by-elections
The by-polls were also marred by violence as two people were killed during a firing incident on the polling day. The incident took place at Gondka polling station where three people were shot, two of them later succumbed to their injures while being transferred to hospital.
The deceased were identified as Majid belonging from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Zeeshan, a Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) worker.
A total of eight people were also wounded in various violent confrontations between PML-N and PTI workers throughout the constituency.
Serious Irregularities, ECP Orders Re-polling In NA-75 Daska By-Elections
ECP had ordered re-polling to be conducted in Sialkot’s NA-75 Daska by-elections after its results were challenged by PML-N citing irregularities and rigging.
ECP has declared the by-election results as ‘null and void’, followed by re-polling on March 18th. The decision of holding re-polling has been made upon PML-N’s request.
It is to be noted that ECP had withheld the by-election results as at least 20 presiding officers (POs) went ‘missing’ along with various district administrative officers who were ‘unavailable’ too.
ECP’s decision over re-polling was based on the fact that Returning Officer (RO) for NA-75 by-elections had submitted its report to ECP admitting to ‘irregularities’ during the voting process.
Athar Abbas – RO for NA-75 by-polls, submitted his report to the ECP stating that presiding officers (POs) were involved in the ‘irregularities’ during the voting process.
The presiding officers were ‘puzzled and terrified’ during the investigation, said the report.