Pakistan Supreme Court to hear Monday petition seeking annulment of February 8 polls

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court will hear on Monday a petition seeking to declare the recently held general elections null and void, amidst allegations by several parties of poll rigging and deliberate delay in announcing the results. The petition, which would be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, seeks the apex court to declare the results of the February 8 polls null and void and get elections re-conducted within 30 days under the supervision and oversight of the judiciary, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
According to the report, the petitioner is a citizen named Ali Khan and he also has made the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government as respondents in the case.
“The petitioner seeks the apex court to order fresh elections within 30 days. The plea seeks general elections under the supervision and oversight of the judiciary to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability,” said the report.
Additionally, the petition also seeks a stay order on the formation of the new government till the case is resolved.
Last Thursday’s general elections in Pakistan produced a hung Parliament as none of the parties could manage to get a majority mandate.
Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supported independent candidates secured 92 seats, while Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) secured 75 and 54 seats respectively.
Due to the fractured mandate, the PML-N and the PPP are trying to form a government with former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister.
The PTI is also making a similar attempt with Umar Ayub Khan, who is the party secretary general and the grandson of former military dictator Ayub Khan, as the prime ministerial candidate.
The petition seeking annulment of the polls came as several political parties including the PTI, the PPP, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have levelled allegations of rigging in the general elections.
The final results of the polls were announced after an inordinate delay, raising doubts over elections’ transparency even from the Western countries.
A day earlier, the Sindh High Court (SHC) sent petitions against the results of 58 constituencies of Karachi and Hyderabad to the Election Commission.
The SHC directed that the electoral watchdog hear the complaints of all the parties and take a decision before February 22 as per the law and should examine the records of the applicants in Form 45 or 47, Geo News reported.
Pakistan has also seen protests across the country by several parties who alleged poll rigging. Khan’s PTI has called for nationwide peaceful protests on Saturday.



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