PML-N’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) President Amir Muqam on Friday alleged that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had indulged in “massive rigging” in the NA-4 by-polls which resulted in the victory of the latter’s candidate, Arbab Amir Ayub.
Addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Friday, Amir Muqam said he has “solid” evidence of rigging during voting.
Muqam also claimed that Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak had manipulated the election process by assigning officers of his choice to election duty.
The PTI government in KP, Muqam added, also committed pre-poll rigging by announcing development projects in the constituency after the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Muqam argued that the announcement of the installation of solar panels in 400 mosques in the NA-4 constituency should be considered pre-poll rigging.
He said that not a single project had been launched in the area after the death of the late MNA, Gulzar Khan, in August. The seat had been vacant since then.
“If someone can prove that I, on behalf of the federal government, have launched a single project or released a penny for development projects in NA-4, I will resign from politics,” he claimed.
He also accused the ECP staff of assisting in vote tampering during the by-polls, insisting that rigging is not possible without the “consent of election staff”.
“Some of the polling agents were told that they had been shifted to another station when they showed up for their duty on election day,” he said, reiterating that he has evidence.
“In some polling stations, thousands of votes were cast when it should have been 500-600,” he alleged.
Muqam admitted that voter turnout had been low; however, he insisted that the election results would have been in PML-N’s favour if the polling had been fair.
PTI retained its National Assembly seat, NA-4, Peshawar IV, in Thursday’s by-election after defeating rivals by a big margin.
The Free and Fair Election Network noted that low women turnout, unchecked campaigning and canvassing around polling stations and suspicious voting patterns at 10 polling booths remained key deficiencies of an otherwise well-managed and peaceful by-election in the NA-4 constituency.