The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday issued a detailed verdict on the NA-75 Daska by-election.
According to the decision, the top electoral body declared NA-75 Daska by-election ‘null and void’ under Article 218 and Section 9 of the Election Act. ECP said that the February 19 election was not fair, transparent, and free.
ECP said that the elections were not conducted in a peaceful environment and there were violations of election laws. ECP in its verdict added that ‘Violations during elections cannot be ignored.’
The written decision also referred to the orders of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. In the verdict, the Election Commission said that “clean and transparent elections are our primary responsibility.”
The verdict stated that the presiding officers in the constituency were frightened. There was a sense of fear during the polling process.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan’s top court turned down the plea of the ruling party seeking suspension of ECP’s decision regarding re-polling in NA-75 Daska on March 18.
As the proceedings commenced, PTI lawyer advocate Mohammad Shahzad Shaukat said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had raised objections over 23 polling stations. The returning officer said that no concerns were recorded on the results of 340 polling stations, he added. Shahzad Shaukat adopted the standpoint that the commission had exceeded its authority by ordering a re-poll in NA-75 Daska.
Back on February 25, the Election Commission of Pakistan nullified by-election results and ordered re-polling in the entire constituency, which is scheduled to take place on March 18.
The PML-N had requested the election commission to hold polling again in the Daska constituency as the February 19 election was marred by controversies and clashes.
The ECP had withheld the results after 20 presiding officers in the constituency went missing for several hours and top officials of the district administration were unavailable to the commission to answer its queries.