On Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied PTI’s request for a recount of the ballots in PP-7 Rawalpindi-II, which it lost to the PML-N by a slim margin of 49 votes.
A five-member panel led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja made the decision public.
In his succinct decision, he stated that the petitioner, PTI candidate Shabbir Awan, was unable to demonstrate any fraud or irregularities during the election or to provide a justification for the recount.
Shafqat Mahmood, the leader of the PTI, referred to the decision as “against the law” on Twitter as soon as it was made public.
“The ECP’s loss of neutrality and integrity has significant repercussions for democracy,Raja Sagheer of the PML-N defeated Awan in the by-election for the provincial assembly seat in Punjab on Sunday by a narrow margin of just 49 votes. The PTI had also questioned why the constituency’s results hadn’t been announced sooner.
Awan then asked for a recount by submitting an application to the returning officer. However, his request was denied, which drew condemnation from the PTI.
Later, Awan had complained to the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court over the RO’s “illegal decision” to deny his request for a recount in PP-7.
But on Wednesday, the court stopped the RO from combining the PP-7 results and changed Awan’s petition against the RO’s rejection of his request for a recount into an application that the ECP will consider.The petitioner is instructed to come before the respondent [ECP] on July 21 at 10am when the necessary shall be done, the statement had read.