ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday accepted the applications of candidates for the recounting of votes in 26 National and provincial constituencies.

The ECP also turned down the requests for votes recounting in 32 seats of National and provincial assemblies.

Several candidates had objected to the results of their election after the July 25 polls and had appealed to the ECP to order a vote recount. The recount of several other constituencies is already under way after losing side appealed to the returning offices.

The ECP, in a press statement, stated that recounting of votes would be held in NA-118 Nankana Sahin, NA-140 Kasur, NA-158 Multan, NA-158 Multan, NA-112 Toba Tek Singh, NA-188 Layyah, NA-110 Faisalabad, NA-129 Lahore, NA-117 Nankana, Sahib, NA-159 Multan, NA-119 Sheikhupura, NA-57 Rawalpindi, NA-170 Bahawalpur, NA-10 Shangla, NA-15 Abbottabat, PP-292 DG  Khan, PP-290 DG Khan, PP-291 DG Khan, PP-220 Multan,, PP-6 Rawalpindi, PP-228 Lodhran, PK-36 Abbottabad,PS-73 Badin, PK-93 Lakki Marwat, PS-82 Jamshoro and PK-93 Lakki Marwat.

Applications for votes’ recounting in 32 constituencies, including NA-175 Rahim Yar Khan-I, NA-194 Rajan Pur , NA-140 Kasur-VI, NA-144 Okara-VI, NA-161 Lodhran-II, NA-164 Vehari-III, NA-43 Khyber Agency, NA-35 Nowshera, PK-90 Bannu, PP-111 Faisalabad, PP-232 Vehari, PP-267 Rahim Yar Khan, PP-102 Faisalabad, PP-285 Dera Ghazi Khan, PP-191 Pakpattan, PP-223 Multan, PP-253 Bahawalpur, PP247 Bahawalpur, PP-185 Okara, PP-27 Jhelum, PP-219 Multan, PP-256 Rahim Yar Khan, PP-186 Okara, PP-137 Sheikhupura, PP-170 Lahore, PP-225 Rahim Yar Khan, PK85 Karak, PK-39 Abbottabad, Ps024 Sukkur, Pk-65 Nowshera Pk-23 Shangla and PK-64 Nowshera National and provincial were rejected by the ECP.

Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was defeated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Sadaqat Abbasi in NA-57 (Rawalpindi).

In NA-158, former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Yousaf Raza Gilani was defeated by a PTI candidate. In NA-129, PML-N leader and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had defeated PTI’s Aleem Khan. In NA-15, PML-N’s Murtaza Javed Abbasi, the NA Deputy Speaker, had defeated PTI’s Ali Asghar Khan. 

In NA-10, the PML-N had emerged victorious whereas in NA-170, the PTI candidate had defeated PML-N leader and former minister Baleeghur Rehman. In NA-140, NA-112, NA-110, NA-159, NA-118, the PTI candidates had emerged victorious against those of the PML-N.

MMA retains NA-49, tribal area seat following recount

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Muhammad Jamal Uddin has retained his seat from NA-49 South Waziristan Agency 1 Tribal Area 10 following a vote recount in the constituency.

Jamal Uddin won the NA-49 seat with 7,794 votes, defeating Dost Muhammad Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who received 6,606 votes.

MMA has also maintained its victory after a vote recount in PK-93 Lakki Marwat 3. PTI candidate Tariq Saeed had requested a recount after losing to MMA candidate Anwar Hayat Khan. Anwar Hayat Khan won the seat with 17,114 votes, while Tariq Saeed was the runner-up with 16,342 votes.

Vote recounting is under way in different consistencies across the country, including NA-108 Faisalabad 8, NA-106 Faisalabad 6, and NA-140 Kasur 4.

Imran’s vote cast violation

The ECP has sought a written reply from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan till August 16 over casting his vote in violation of the code of conduct during the general election 2018.

Imran’s counsel Babar Awan appeared before the ECP earlier today after the electoral body issued a notice to the PTI chief for violating the secrecy of ballot by openly casting his vote in the NA-53 constituency on July 25.

Instead of going behind the voting screen to cast his vote in secrecy, Imran was seen publicly stamping the ballot paper on the table with TV cameras filming him. Neither the presiding officer nor other polling staff objected to the violation.

After hearing Awan’s argument over the matter, the ECP ordered a written reply from the PTI chairman and adjourned the hearing till August 16. According to Section 185 of the Election Act, a person can be given a six-month jail sentence and/or fine of Rs1,000 for not casting their vote in secrecy.

Speaking to media outside the ECP on Monday, Awan said institutions will be in power during PTI’s rule. “Individuals will not rule during PTI’s tenure. Institutions will be in power,” he said, adding that the nation’s wishes would be the guiding force for the party. To a question, Awan said PTI had not yet decided who would be made the chief minister of Punjab.

The Imran Khan-led PTI witnessed a resounding triumph in the country’s general election, whereas rival parties planned protests over alleged vote rigging. The PTI won 116 National Assembly seats in the ballot, short of the 137 needed for a simple majority but a surprisingly strong showing that helped fuel suspicion of rigging.

Votes in garbage

The ECP also took notice of a complaint regarding stamped ballot papers found in a garbage dump in Karachi.  Stamped ballot papers were recovered Sunday night from a garbage heap in the metropolis’ Qayyumabad area.

The ballot papers mentioned candidates who contested the polls from the NA-241 and PS-160 constituencies. Further, voter cards were also found alongside the ballot papers.

The stamped ballot papers and voter cards were first found by the area’s residents in a garbage heap, which had been set on fire.