PESHAWAR - Tripartite Opposition parties alliance on Wednesday announced that in the second phase of protest against rigging in last Local Government (LG) elections, it has been decided to hold a big public meeting in provincial metropolis on June 16.

“We have unanimously decided to expedite our movement further, because the ruling PTI has stolen mandate of the Opposition parties by planned rigging and maladministration in the LG polls held on May 30 last,” ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said this while speaking at a joint news conference at Bacha Khan Markaz, the central headquarters of the party.

Flanked by JUI-F’s Shujaul Mulk, Jalil Jan, and PPP’s Rahimdad Khan and Najamuddin Khan, Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that first phase of protests against rigging had completed successfully.

And the next phase of the series would begin on June 16 by holding a massive public gathering in Peshawar, which would also be addressed by the central leadership of tripartite alliance which included ANP, PPP and JUI-F.

In the same public gathering, “We will announce our next line of action,” he informed the media persons.

He, however, said that “Our protests will continue till the PTI government resigns and installs an interim government to hold re-elections.”

Also, he thanked party workers over the conclusion of Wednesday’s protest peacefully and in the same breath he tendered apology over any inconvenience that the protests might have caused.

The shutter down strike was observed across the province as 95 per cent of people voluntarily suspended their business activities to record protest against the KP government, Mian Iftikhar said, adding “Our protest remained peaceful”. However, the PTI supporters provoked the workers of the Opposition parties which led to a scuffle and that was why ANP’s central Finance Secretary Arbab Tahir sustained minor injuries.

He alleged that government pressurised and forced traders and shopkeepers for keeping their businesses on during the strike assuring them of protection.

He, however, added that ‘our morale is high’ and we will not budge an inch from our stand.

Criticizing provincial LG act, he said that it has been stolen from other countries and the PTI Chairman Imran Khan wanted to implement it in KP come what may. “An internet hero proved zero in the province’.

He called for removing loopholes in the LG act by taking all the Opposition parties into confidence.

If ANP is blamed for rigging in the LG elections, where was the provincial government, he questioned.

He said that protest of Opposition parties would continue until the PTI government step down and reelection is conducted under a caretaker setup in the province, he concluded.