Opp parties announce demos over ‘rigging’ in Sindh LB polls

JUI-F, PTI, GDA, Sindh United Party, others to take part in demonstrations

The leaders of JUI-F, PTI, GDA, Sindh United Party and others who had contested the elections have announced they would stage demonstrations outside the offices of DROs and ROs in all 14 districts of Sindh from today (Tuesday) over alleged rigging in the recent local bodies polls.

Addressing a press conference at the local press club, Dr. Safdar Abbasi, MPA Mouzzam Abbasi and Moulana Rashdi of Larkana Ittihad outright rejected the results of the different wards of the towns. They alleged missive rigging by the PPP leaders during the LB polls to help their candidates win in all districts of the province. They added that one hand elections were massively rigged while on the other hand the supporters of different political parties were being implicated in cases in various towns of the province on fake and concocted charges.

The various parties’ leaders said that they would never see the results of such elections “which were totally hijacked and rigged”. Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah and Syed Zain Shah of Sindh United Party (SUP) also rejected the results of the elections and alleged that their candidates in Shaheed Benazirabad and other districts were only deprived of their mandate and were now politically victimized.

The former chief minister Sindh and PTI leader Dr Arbab Gjulam Rahim addressing the press conference inMithi town claimed that despite the massive rigging and flagrant violation of the rules and regulations they had won a majority of the seats of UC chairman and members of the district councils from across the desert district. He demanded the official announcement of the results adding he warned to take to roads and streets if their mandate was stolen through manipulations.

Meanwhile, a large number of supporters of PTI staged the demonstrations outside Recruiting Offices in Mithi, Nagarparkar and Chhachhro towns on Monday against the officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the district administration of Tharparkar for their refusal to provide them unofficial results of the different wards of both town committees and union council councils across the district. The PTI workers, led by Arbab Anwar Jabbar, Abdul Ghani Khoso, Abdul Rahim Khoso and others, staged a demonstration outside the RO office and demanded the results of the town of UCs.

They said that according to the initial results given to them by the presiding officers, PTI had clearly won two wards of the hill town of Nagarparkar by defeating their rival candidates of PPP from two or three wards. The PTI and estranged PPP leaders, talking to the media persons, said that their candidates had only won the town committee but also a majority of the wards of union councils and the seats of the district council from the Parkar region but they had not been provided with the unofficial results which were their basic right. The PTI candidates along with their several hundred supporters also staged demonstrations against the officials in Chhachhro and Mithi towns.

The leaders, as well as candidates, alleged that after a ‘humiliating defeat of PPP candidates in a number of polling stations of the desert district the polling officers and other staffers were forcibly detained at polling stations after the completion of the voting and counting process just to change the results in their favour, they added. The candidates o GDA, PTI and Sindh United Party, JUI-F, MQM-P, Qaumi Awami Tehreek also staged the demonstrations in different towns of Sanghar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Shikarpur, Larkana, Kashmore-Kandhkot,  Shikarpur, Ghotki, Sukkur and other districts where the polling was conducted on Sunday, GDA’s leaders including MPA Ali Ghouhar Mehar and other GDA and PTI leaders claimed that they had won as many as 50 unions councils and seats of the district council out of 66 in Ghotki district but they were being provided with results.

According to unofficial results of Khairpur district PPP had won 66 union councils and as many as seats of the district councils while PPP got seven and GDA managed to get 14 seats of the union councils of the district. While GDA candidates had already won two committees of the district – Naru and Kot Diji.

Addressing the press conference, the provincial secretary general of JUI-F, Sindh chapter, Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro requested the party chief, Fazlur Rehman, to take strong notice of the “brutalities” committed against the party candidates and workers by PPP leaders and policemen during the first phase of the local bodies election. “We should not stay in longer with such a party together in the federal government,” he said and expressed hope that Fazlur Rehman would talk to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, failing which he should announce parting ways with the government in Islamabad.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at hanifsamoon@gmail.com

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