ARD to contest election results in court
LAHORE: The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) on Saturday alleged that the ruling party had rigged the local bodies elections and vowed to move the election tribunal.
Addressing a joint press conference on Saturday, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Qasim Zia, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab President Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Organiser Admiral (r) Javed Iqbal, Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Deputy Secretary General Liaqat Baloch and Pakistan Democratic Party (PDP) President Nawabzada Mansoor Ali Khan said the Pakistan Muslim League had rigged the local elections to strengthen its position in the next general elections.
“We will file cases in court against the Punjab chief minister for nominating candidates for district nazims,” they said.
They said that the opposition was waiting for the official election results and would hold a joint meeting of all opposition parties’ heads to decide whether to accept the results or not.
They said that the option of resigning from the assemblies and protest movements against the government could not be ruled out.
PPP leader Zia said that the elections in Gujrat district should be declared null and void and fresh elections should be held there under the Army. He said Zahoor Palace, Gujrat, was the hub of election rigging. He alleged that directions were issued to district coordinators, police and civil administration to threaten PPP candidates and register bogus cases against party leaders and workers.
PML-N leader Khosa said free and fair elections were not possible under the ruling party. He said that despite rigging and use of state machinery by the ruling party, the opposition parties were victorious in the local elections and the delay in announcing official results proved that the election authorities were changing the results.
He said that National Rehabilitation Bureau Chairman Daniyal Aziz would resign from his office because of rigging by Federal Health Minister Naseer Ahmad.
MMA Secretary General Baloch said that the people had rejected President Pervez Musharraf’s enlightened moderation by voting for the opposition.
PTI Organiser Iqbal said that the government was using all its might to change the election results so that it could win the district and town nazim elections.
PDP President Khan said that in Muzaffargarh District, the police and state machinery were openly used to change the election results.
He said that complaints were sent to the chief election commissioner but he refused to entertain them. He said that the opposition should form a joint strategy to enforce a true democratic system.