LAHORE: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to challenge the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to annul the NA-75 by-election in the Lahore High Court after approval from Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.
According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the move as well as filing a petition challenging the action taken against administrative officers, including Commissioner and RPO Gujranwala.
Sources further informed that the decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Special Assistant to CM Punjab Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Advocate Ali Zafar and Ali Asjad Malhi also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, PM Imran was briefed on the by-elections while Advocate Ali Zafar proposed to him regarding the legal options against the ECP decision. It was decided to challenge the decision of the ECP in light of the suggestion given by Barrister Ali Zafar.
Sources said two petitions will be filed in the Lahore High Court in this regard. One petition will challenge the re-poling in NA-75 Daska while the second will challenge ECP’s decision to take action against administrative officers.
In the briefing, the Prime Minister was told that the Election Commission does not have the authority to take such action against the officers. Earlier, ECP had directed re-polling at all polling stations of NA-75 Sialkot-Daska over rigging allegations.
Terming the polling null and void in the NA-75 Daska, the ECP had ordered re-polling in the constituency on March 18. Moreover, the ECP also decided to suspend the concerned Deputy Commissioner, District Police Officer (DPO), Assistant Commissioner and SPDO Daska over “rigging” during the by-poll in the NA-75 constituency.
Earlier Sunday, Maryam Nawaz had said the entire nation now knows how the PTI government came to power. The PML-N leader took an unusual style criticizing the PTI for vote-rigging, reminiscing a viral video to lash out at the government.
“Yeh Dhund Hai, Yeh Daska Hai aur Yeh Imran Khan Awam Ke Vote Chori Kar Ra Hai (This is fog, This is Daska and Imran Khan is stealing the votes).” she said becoming the latest to join the bandwagon of ‘Meri pawri’ internet sensation.
PML-N had accused the ruling PTI of rigging the by-polls in Sialkot’s NA-75 after which the results were withheld by the ECP after the presiding officers of several polling stations went missing. The presiding officers approached the ECP in the morning and said that they came in late because of fog.