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MQM calls for fresh polls in Karachi constituency

May 15, 2013 16:57 IST

Pakistan's Muttahida Qaumi Movement party has demanded fresh polls in Karachi constituency, rejecting the Election Commission's decision to conduct re-polling only at 43 stations of the National Assembly seat.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had announced re-polling at 43 polling stations of constituency NA-250 Karachi, where polling was postponed on election day due to reports of alleged rigging.

Criticising the Election Commission's decision to hold election at a few polling stations for the NA-250 seat, MQM chief Altaf Hussain demanded fresh polls in the entire constituency.

Addressing a sit-in organised by the party outside the provincial Election Commission office, Hussain said, "We have the right to defend ourselves, we will protest when anybody tries to deprive us of our mandate."

He said that people had gathered outside the Election Commission office within one hour of the MQM Coordination Committee’s call.

Altaf Hussain said that upright people should be inducted in the Election Commission and people of NA-250 constituency, whether they were rich or poor, should be given the right of franchise.

He said conducting re-polling in certain areas was discriminatory and the MQM rejects it, the Geo News reported.

Hussain also warned against use of force against the MQM. He applauded party workers and said that he had eliminated differences between the poor and the rich.

MQM leader and senator Mustafa Kamal said his party would protest against the Election Commission's decision to conduct re-polling in just 43 stations of the constituency.

"The ECP is to blame for the chaos that took place on election day in NA-250 constituency at some polling stations. They are trying to cover up their own failures by announcing re-polling for 43 polling stations which is not acceptable to us," Kamal said.

A large number of MQM workers gathered outside the Election Commission office and staged a sit-in to protest against its decision to hold voting at a few polling stations of NA-250 after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf protested over the disturbance in polling.

The MQM chief said polling should be held in the entire constituency and rival parties should accept the results.

A tough fight was on the cards for the seat, with the MQM fielding their only female candidate Khushbakht Shujaat, while Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has Arif Alvi.

At most of the polling stations, polling either started very late or didn't start at all.

The PTI alleged rigging at some stations, while the Jamaat-e-Islaami, which had fielded a candidate for the seat, announced a mid-day boycott of elections in Karachi on election day against, they said, “blatant rigging” by the MQM.

The Election Commission had announced earlier that polling at these stations would be held on Sunday.

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