PESHAWAR - Expressing grave concern over the allegedly biased attitude of the officials of Provincial Election Commission, the losing candidates in the recently held by-elections in Charsadda, have termed engineered the election process in district Charsadda.

“Rigging was done in the polling results by the influential candidate of a political party,” alleged Raz Muhammad Durani and Gul Yousaf, the two runner-off independent candidates, in a joint press conference here at the Press Club on Thursday.

The losing candidates appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the alleged rigging and re-conduct the by-elections at constituency PK-22, Charsadda-VI.

They also alleged that the winning candidate of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Baber Ali, had influenced the elections process and turned the polling results, adding he (Ali) had also established some secret polling stations with the connivance of the officials of the Provincial Election Commission as low turnout was witnessed in the by-elections, they further alleged.

They also accused that the officials of the Provincial Election Commission of violating the elections rules regulation in the by-polls.

“We have a strong objection on both the presiding and returning officers, because they favoured Baber Ali in the vote counting process,” claimed the runner-off candidates said and demanded to recount the ballots. The Provincial Election Commissioner, they said, has been approached in this connection but he was least bothered to reply to our complaints.

They also called for holding of free, fair and transparent general elections to ensure a true and fair form of democracy in the country. According to official results of the by-elections, the QWP candidate Babar Ali had got 8,299 votes, while his rival independent candidates Gul Yousaf and Raz Muhammad succeeded in securing 7,178 and 2,068 votes respectively, they informed.