ECP to hear JI’s plea against 'rigging' in Sindh LG polls on Jan 25

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Jamaat-e-Islamis (JI) Karachi President Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman addresses a press conference in Karachi on October 18, 2022. — Facebook/JI
Jamaat-e-Islami's (JI) Karachi President Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman addresses a press conference in Karachi on October 18, 2022. — Facebook/JI
  • JI filed plea agaisnt rigging, incorrect count in six UCs of Karachi.
  • Naeem urges PTI not to file recount pleas, warns of post-poll rigging.
  • Mayor Karachi will be from Jamat-e-Islami, says Hafiz Naeem. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hear Jamat-e-Islami's (JI) plea against rigging and incorrect count in the second phase of the local government (LG) polls in Sindh on January 25, it said in a statement, which earlier scheduled for January 23.

JI had filed complaints regarding rigging and incorrect vote count in six union councils of Karachi and demanded action against the district returning officers (DRO) and returning officers (RO) involved. 

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with 91 seats, emerged as the single largest party in the LG polls held in Karachi on January 15. JI, with 88 seats, remained the second biggest party, with PTI in the third position with 40 seats.

The PML-N secured seven, JUI-F three, and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), independent candidates and others ended up with two UCs each.

JI decries post-polls rigging 

Separately, JI leader Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, in a press conference in Karachi, accused the PPP of post-poll rigging and demanded to halt the recounting process in all controversial UCs.

The JI leader claimed that the Sindh government influenced the electoral staff to tamper results in PPP's favour. He urged the PTI to not file recount applications, claiming that the PPP would use it to their advantage and steal Karachi's mandate.

"The ballot boxes from all objected UCs should be sent to the ECP office and recounted in the ECP officials' presence," said Hafiz Naeem.

He added that the local government (LG) polls were postponed four times, and people were kept in confusion intentionally so that a large number of people do not vote.

Despite their reservations over the delimitations, he added, they strived to hold the LG polls in the city. However, there were delays during the polls, Form 11 and Form 12 were not provided timely after the counting ended, and the Returning Officers' results differed from the Form 11 and Form 12 results in many constituencies, he added.

He added that their workers were attacked and fired upon, but they would continue protecting the people's mandate. The JI leader accused the presiding officers of double-stamping JI's votes so that the ballot gets rejected.

"PPP should respect JI's thumping mandate given by the people of Karachi," he said, adding that the next mayor of Karachi would be from the JI.

The JI Karachi chief announced to celebrate a thanksgiving day at MA Jinnah Road tomorrow on their successful LG polls campaign.

CM Shah assures of addressing 'valid' concerns

A day earlier, in a telephonic conversation with the JI leader, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had assured the party of addressing its "valid" concerns.

The CM urged him to approach the ECP regarding their concerns and assured him of playing a neutral role in the resolution of their issues.

Clashes over results

Several people were injured as a result of clashes among political parties as the results of the LG polls poured in.

According to Geo News, District Keamari, Malir Halt, Gulshan-e-Hadeed and Qayyumaba became the battleground as political workers gathered to witness the re-counting.

PTI protested outside the office of the DRO in district Keamari's SITE area, where workers of the PPP were also present. Supporters of the two rival parties chanted slogans against each other.

Two journalists were injured after workers of the two political groups resorted to stone-pelting.

One person was injured due to stone pelting outside the DRO office in district Keamari, where police also resorted to baton-charge. Meanwhile, workers of the JI staged protests at Malir Halt and Gulshan-e-Hadeed.