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APC demanded re-election

28 July, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: A all-parties conference (APC) convened on Friday to formulate a joint strategy over alleged rigging in the 2018 general elections rejected the results of the recently held polls and demanded a ‘transparent’ re-election in the country.

“The all-parties conference unanimously rejects the July 25 elections,” Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman told media at the end of the conference hosted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif chaired the conference held at the Islamabad residence of MMA leader Mian Aslam and attended by leaders of various parties.

“People have been robbed of their mandate,” Fazl said.”We do not consider this election to be the mandate of the public … but a theft of people’s mandate. We do not accept the majority of those claiming to have won the majority,” he added.

“We want democracy. We have sacrificed so much for democracy to prosper in the country,” Fazl said, adding that people who think they have won fairly should know that they have no real power.”We will not let these thieves even enter the parliament,” he warned.

Fazlsaid the elected candidates of the parties who attended the APC will not take oath. However, he clarified, that Shehbaz Sharif had requested to be allowed to consult his party over the move first.

The MMA leader said a movement will be started and protests will be held to demand re-election in the country. The schedule of the movement will be decided by a committee within a day or two, he said, adding the APC will also approach other parties who have concerns over the election results but could not attend the meeting.

Fazl said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had failed to command the results of the elections despite ‘wasting Rs 20 billion of the public money’. “Returning officers, presiding officers and other officials remained a hostage to the army personnel and did not hand over results to the polling agents,” he alleged, adding, “We will not let democracy be held hostage by any establishment.”

Shehbaz said the July 25 elections saw the ‘worst irregularities’ the examples of which are not found in country’s history. He alleged that the election was rigged and that his party will strongly protest the results in the National Assembly. He further said that PML-N would also take up legal proceedings against the poll results.

It is pertinent to note that main political parties such as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) did not attend the APC.APPP spokesperson earlier said party’s leadership will devise its own strategy regarding alleged poll irregularities.

In attendance at the APC were Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali, Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Sherpao, National Party’s Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai and several MMA leaders. PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ayaz Sadiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Chaudhry Tanveer and Khurram Dastagir and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leaders Mustafa Kamal, Raza Haroon and Waseem Ahmed also attended.

Interestingly, MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar also showed up at the conference, despite reports that his party has agreed to join the PTI-led government in the centre after a contact between PTI leader Jehangir Tareen and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Speaking about his appearance, Sattar said that he was not in contact with the Rabita Committee. “I wasn’t aware of the decision to boycott the APC,” he said.

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