Jamaat-e-Islami leader Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has refused to take up the Sindh Assembly seat, PS-129, in Karachi where he was declared winner in the provisional results issued by the country’s top electoral authority.
“I received over 26,000 votes on this [PS-129] seat. The ECP results showed 30,000 results. I have the moral courage not to take such a seat,” he said while addressing a press conference in Karachi on Monday.
Tens of millions of Pakistanis headed to polling stations to elect a new government in February amid soaring inflation, incidents of violence, and mobile services suspension.
Rehman’s party has already expressed concerns over the elections, which they claim were rigged. But the government has claimed that the elections were fair.
On Sunday, the JI protested at eight locations in Karachi against the alleged rigging in elections.
“Therefore, I give up this seat,” Rehman said, “independent candidate Saif Bari won in a genuine manner, whose votes were reduced to 11,000 from 31,000”.
“We don’t want any seat in charity,” he said and demanded that the Jamaat-e-Islami should be given seats that it has won.
He alleged that MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal and other leaders lost elections, however, they were declared winners by the ECP.
The religio-political party leader claimed that a MQM-P leader got 6,000 votes on a seat, but they were changed to 20,000.
There were several polling stations where elections were not held while at some voting started three to six hours after the polling time, Rehman alleged.
Rehman won the PS-129 seat in Karachi Central with 26,296 votes, according to the results. MQM-P leader Maaz Muqadam was the runner with 20,608 votes while the PTI backed independent candidate Saif Bari received 11,357 votes.
He claimed that videos of alleged interference in polls were available on social media, however, such reports were not highlighted by the mainstream media.
Rehman went on to add Form 45, containing results signed by the presiding officer, was not issued despite that the counting of votes was completed by 8pm. He reiterated his concerns over the delay in results.
“We have presented our case in front of the people and informed them about rigging.”