"Biggest Voter Fraud": Imran Khan On Pakistan's General Elections Result

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party founded by the cricketer-turned-politician also deplored the February 8 polls, saying the elections would be remembered in the country's history due to the scale of vote rigging.

'Biggest Voter Fraud': Imran Khan On Pakistan's General Elections Result

Imran Khan party backed candidates won lion's share in Pak general elections (File)


Claiming that at least 85 seats won by it in Parliament were snatched by rigging, jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party on Friday said the outcome of Pakistan's elections would be remembered due to the "biggest voter fraud" in the country's history against it and its successful candidates.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party founded by the cricketer-turned-politician also deplored the February 8 polls, saying the elections would be remembered in the country's history due to the scale of vote rigging.

A week after the polling took place for the general elections, there is no sign of a government in cash-strapped Pakistan. Independent candidates backed by Imran Khan's PTI won the lion's share in the 266-member National Assembly even when none of the other parties won a clear majority.

Counting of votes was suspended on the night after the polling prompting the PTI to claim the polls were rigged. Ever since the party has regularly alleged how the establishment followed incorrect procedures to declare PTI's rivals as winners.

On Friday, a fresh round of crackdown, allegedly by the Pakistan Army, was launched against Imran Khan's party in a bid to put pressure on the winners in the elections to change their loyalties to parties backed by the powerful military.

The crackdown came amid a possibility of a coalition government by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and four smaller parties.

Later in the afternoon, addressing a largely attended press conference here, PTI's Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said: "According to our estimates, out of 177 [National Assembly] seats, which were supposed to be ours, only 92 have been given to us. And 85 seats have been taken away from us fraudulently." The party was taking constitutional and legal steps, Hasan said, adding that the party has verified data for about 46 seats and it is being compiled for another 39 seats.

Describing in detail that the party had three ways to ascertain the alleged rigging, the PTI leader said, "There were discrepancies between Form 45 and Form 47; there was also a huge difference in the numbers of votes polled for National Assembly and provincial assembly seats and the number of rejected votes, in certain cases, exceeded the margin of victory." For a press conference, the setting was unusual and looked more like a pandal for some event. Almost 70 candidates sat along with the main leaders, each showcasing his or her Form 45 with a claim of victory.

Form 45 is collected from polling stations in a constituency while Form 47 shows the consolidated result of a constituency.

A presentation detailing seat-wise statistics too was shown during the press conference. Soon after this, party leader Seemabia Tahir took to the stage and played a video of the alleged rigging in the February 8 polls.

She also mentioned PTI senior leader Yasmeen Rashid's defeat against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in the NA-130 seat and claimed that Rashid was leading till night but the latter was declared winner the next morning.

The allegations made during the press conference were the same that Imran Khan and PTI have been making in the run-up to, and even after the general elections. One of the allegations was that the polls were "not free and fair." One of the prominent leaders, Salman Akram Raja, who had contested from the NA-128 seat, lambasted the electoral authorities, claiming that "rigging took place from polling stations to the Returning Officers' office." "What the people voted for was changed in the dark of night," The News International said quoting Raja.

Meanwhile, throughout the day, the party's official X and other social media handles kept posting updates about protests from across the country.

"Countrywide peaceful protests are ongoing against the massive rigging in elections 2024. In Sindh, PPP and MQM benefitted of this rigging and mandate of the public is not being respected!," said one such post, which also had a small video with it. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)