–Election watchdog declares Imran victorious from NA-35 Bannu, NA-95 Mianwali and NA-243 Karachi after accepting PTI chief’s apology in poll code violation case
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday issued the victory notifications of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from four National Assembly (NA) constituencies.
The electoral watchdog declared Imran victorious from NA-35 Bannu, NA-95 Mianwali, and NA-243 Karachi constituencies after accepting the PTI chief’s apology in poll code violation case.
The ECP also notified Imran’s victory against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Saad Rafique from NA-131 constituency in Lahore after the Supreme Court suspended the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict of vote recount.
During the proceeding on Imran’s appeal against the LHC decision, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ruled out recounting in the constituency.
The commission is yet to issue the victory notification from the NA-53 constituency in Islamabad after it dismissed Imran’s reply in the ballot secrecy case.
A four-member tribunal headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Muhammad Raza conducted a hearing of the case and announced the reserved verdict.
Imran’s counsel Babar Awan appeared before the ECP on Thursday and submitted a written reply stating that his client did not intentionally stamp his ballot publicly. The reply also stated that the PTI chief’s photos were taken without his permission, adding that the curtain used around the ballot for secrecy had fallen due to the crowd inside the polling booth.
The reply further sought an end to the case and requested the ECP to issue notification for Imran’s victory from NA-53 Islamabad.
The ECP, however, dismissed the reply submitted by Awan and summoned an affidavit from Imran apologising for the controversial vote casting complete with his signature.
The commission then adjourned the hearing till Friday.
The ECP had earlier withheld notifications of Imran’s victory from NA-131 Lahore and NA-53 Islamabad constituencies. Although the ECP had issued victory notifications for the PTI chief in three other constituencies, NA-35 Bannu, NA-243 Karachi and NA-95 Mianwali, it had kept these notifications subject to its final decision in the pending cases against Imran.