07/27/2018, 10.55
PAKISTAN
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Pakistani Church rejects the election results: 'Rigged vote'

by Kamran Chaudhry

Counting is still ongoing almost two days after the polls closed. Activists and bishops denounce that minority commissioners have been kicked out of the polls. Trade unionist: "2018 elections most rigged in the history of Pakistan".

 

Lahore (AsiaNews) - The Pakistani Church praises the work of the Pakistan Electoral Commission and shares the criticism of some parties complaining of irregular delays in issuing election results.

Msgr. Samson Shukardin, bishop of Hyderabad, says: "We congratulate the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding successful polls but the nation did not get official results even after 24 hours. We are in dark about what’s happening. Some irregularities were also observed and representatives of some parties were shoved away from the polling stations".

Almost two days after the elections for the renewal of the Parliamentary Assembly and the four provincial Assemblies, the counting of the ballots has not yet ended in Pakistan. In any case, yesterday afternoon Imran Khan leader of Tehreek-i-Insaf Pakistan (PTI), for now the party with the most votes, declaredvictory with a live televised speech followed by millions of people.

According to the local newspaper Dawn, the PTI is leading with 120 seats out of the total of 272, with the counting of ballots stopped at 49%. At least seven leading political parties have given rise to protests in various cities, contesting the result.

Christian National Party, which fielded 9 Christian candidates in Punjab province, rejected all results. Joseph Francis, Executive Director of the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) made the announcement in a video message shared on social media. “On behalf of our party I reject 2018 elections because poling agents of all our candidates were pushed outside. No signatures or result was given to them on form 45. I believe it was pre planned and administration is responsible,” he said as the party spokesperson.Form 45 is a document which contains data of every candidate with their names as well as how many votes they received. It is signed by Returning Officers and polling staff after the vote count

Several Christian human rights workers also expressed their disappointment. “False election, nothing new,” posted Catherine Sapna Director Christian True Spirit on Facebook. According to Farooq Tariq spokesperson of Awami (public) Workers Party, polls of 2018 are the most rigged elections. “There are serious allegation of rigging the elections by PTI and their supporters in establishment. All efforts are been made that PTI won the elections. It is clear that this general election would be most rigged election in the history of Pakistan. Pre poll rigging and now post poll rigging are all in the open,” he said.

“After 10 pm, results were stopped in constituencies with initial difference of 2000 votes or less. The loosing candidates of PTI became winners the next day (July 26). Down with the intervention of the establishment in the elections. Down with rigging, Down with those who are making the whole process of election a laughing stock.”

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