Bilawal vows to challenge ‘rigged’ PS-11 by-poll


KARACHI: A day after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lost a by-poll in its home constituency PS-11 (Larkana-II), party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday vowed to challenge the “rigged” election.

Earlier on Thursday, Grand Dem­o­cratic Alliance’s (GDA) candidate Moazzam Ali Abb­asi managed to retain his seat as, according to unofficial results, he bagged 31,557 votes, while his rival, PPP’s Jamil Soomro, could get 26,021 votes.

The PS-11 by-election had been announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the Supreme Court had de-seated Abbasi, who had won the seat in the 2018 general election, in August.

Following the result, Bilawal took to Twitter to announce that he “will challenge this rigging at every forum. The truth can’t be hidden. We will expose this selection. We will have re-election and take back this seat.”

In a series of posts posted after midnight, the PPP chairman said he was proud of his party workers for “fighting an honorable election despite immense pressure from the establishment. From pre-poll with NAB arresting & sending notices to PPP workers & their families”.

Bilawal alleged that “on polling day, Rangers took over the inside of polling stations. harassed our women voters, threw out our polling agents, and deliberately slowed polling. Women polling stations where PPP performs well were purposely started hours late.”

He noted that media had been reporting that women voters were “threatened” to vote for GDA. He regretted that “despite our pleas, ECP did not take notice.”

Further, Bilawal said that the PPP candidate wasn’t allowed inside polling stations. “We kept asking ECP to intervene but its malafide intent was apparent in its silence.”

He also said that “despite the political engineering”, PPP had reduced the lead of other parties by 5,000 votes in less than a year and vowed to challenge the ‘rigging’ at every forum.