NA-131: Vote recount underway on Saad Rafique’s request

Blanche Robertson
August 9, 2018

Imran Khan's party has won 116 seats out of the contested 270 parliamentary constituencies.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, gave this interim order on an appeal filed by Khan, who is poised to become the next prime minister of the country, challenging the LHC ruling which allowed his rival's plea for a recount of all ballots.

On the directives of Lahore High Court (LHC), recounting of the votes in entire NA-131 constituency will be carried out today (Tuesday).

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique had petitioned for a recount in the NA-131 Lahore-9 constituency, from where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan won by 680 votes.

Khawaja Saad Rafique had alleged that the presiding officer deliberately rejected hundreds of votes.

Rafique's legal counsel contended that a recount request is valid if the victory margin is less than five per cent.

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Another spanner was thrown in the works this week when the election commission notified the final results of the July 25 general election but withheld results in nine national and 17 provincial assembly seats for various reasons, stirring a new controversy before the formation of the government.

The chief justice observed he will not leave any constituency without representation in parliament (owing to the withholding of winning candidates' notification by ECP).

Soon after the top court's verdict, Khan's lawyer Babar Awan wrote to the Election Commission, requesting it to issue the notification of Khan's victory in two constituencies in Lahore and Islamabad, Dawn reported. The PTI had challenged the decision of the high court in the apex court. The court asked him to take up the matter with the concerned forum. He further stated that the recount of rejected votes and five polling stations reduced 117 votes from Imran's tally.

"The Election Act 2017 has been completely disregarded".

Later, former railway minister approached LHC who barred ECP from issuing notification of PTI chairman Imran Khan's success and ordered recount in the entire constituency.

The PML-N leader had then requested the constituency's returning officer (RO) to conduct a recount of the rejected votes.

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