ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday notified the final results of the general election but withheld results of nine national and 17 provincial assembly seats for various reasons, stirring a new controversy before the formation of the next government.
The strength of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the National Assembly has gone down from 116 to 112 for now and its ally Balochistan Awami Party from four to three.
The nine NA constituencies where the results have been withheld include NA-53 (Islamabad) and NA-131 (Lahore) from where prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan had defeated former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, respectively.
Even the notifications of Mr Khan’s victory from NA-35 (Bannu), NA-95 (Mianwali-I) and NA-243 (Karachi East-II) have been issued conditionally. “The notification shall be subject to the final decision of the Election Commission in the pending case of violation of code of conduct,” a note attached with all the three notifications read.
Issues conditional results of Imran’s victory from three constituencies, withholds notification of two other seats
Though the note did not explain the nature of the violation, it apparently referred to the violation of secrecy of vote by stamping the ballot paper in the NA-53 (Islamabad) constituency on the table of presiding officer, instead of going behind the voting screen.
The development related to the issuance of condition notifications of Mr Khan’s victory generated a debate on whether he would be able to form a government at the Centre.
In all, the PTI had won on four out of the nine NA seats where the results have been put on hold.
Three of the nine seats had been claimed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and one each by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the BAP.
This has reduced the strength of the PTI in the NA to 112, followed by the PML-N (61) and the PPP (42). The strength of the BAP has gone down to three.
The notifications of seven of the nine constitutions have been withheld pursuant to orders of the high courts. These include NA-131 (Lahore) constituency, where Mr Khan won against Khawaja Saad Rafique; NA-108 constituency where PTI’s Farrukh Habib defeated PML-N’s Abid Sher Ali; the NA-140 (Kasur) constituency, where PTI’s Sardar Talib Nakai defeated Rana Mohammad Hayat Khan; NA-90 and -91 (Sargodha) where PML-N’s Hamid Hameed and Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti emerged victorious, NA-112 (Toba Tek Singh) seat which was won by PML-N’s Junaid Anwar Chaudhry; and NA-215 (Sanghar) seat that was won by PPP’s Naveed Dero. Result of NA-271 (Kech) has been withheld for failure of BAP’s Zubeda Jalal to submit return of her election expenses.
Elections had taken place on 270 of the total 272 general seats in the National Assembly. Elections in NA-60 (Rawalpindi) constituency had been postponed after the disqualification of PML-N leader Haneef Abbasi only days before the general election, while polls in Faisalabad had been postponed after the death of a contesting candidate.