PPP calls it ‘most controversial elections’

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ISLAMABAD: The main opposition party has termed Thursday’s Senate elections ‘most controversial’ while the government blamed the opposition for making the electoral exercise ‘disputed’. Syed Khursheed Shah, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, said the Senate elections were a fixed match, and the PML-N and PTI shared the blame for making the polls controversial.

Speaking to journalists outside the Parliament House, Shah questioned Wednesday night’s presidential order that withdraw the right to cast four votes from 11 lawmakers from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). “The government’s midnight coup made the whole elections controversial.”

He said the PML-N government tried to secure one more seat from Fata by issuing the presidential order hours before the polling which created insecurity among the Fata lawmakers. If the PML-N was not eyeing a seat from Fata, it would have refrained from taking such action, he added. Shah said the government should have issued such a president order before the issuance of the elections schedule. “The midnight coup reflects government’s dishonesty,” he added.

About Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Shah said the PTI was to blame for making the elections controversial in the province where it is in power. The party leadership’s instructions to its MPAs to show their stamped votes before casting them were a blatant violation of election rules.

In Punjab, he said, PPP candidate Nadeem Afzal Chan has complained that PML-N legislators were involved in rigging. “Only in Sindh, the elections were free and fair,” he said.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also described the Senate elections as ‘most controversial’ and blamed the PTI for that. Maulana Fazl’s brother Lutfur Rehman said the election in K-P was the best example of blatant rigging.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2015.

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