Election tribunal to announce NA-122 verdict in favour of Ayaz Sadiq: report

LAHORE, Pakistan: The election tribunal in Lahore is likely to announce its decision regarding the alleged rigging in Lahore’s NA-122 constituency in favour of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

However, according to sources that tribunal may delay the announcement of the decision because the police officials have given a briefing to the tribunal judge Kazim Ali Malik and told him that the tribunal’s decision in favour of any side may deteriorate the law and order situation.

“I am hopeful regarding the Election Commission’s decision on NA-122,” the Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq told media earlier on Saturday. He said that he will succeed by the grace of almighty Allah.

The Speaker National Assembly further said that he will accept whatever would be the decision and will comment after the decision.

Meanwhile, the strict security arrangements have been made on the premises of the Punjab Election Commission Office in Lahore where the tribunal hold its proceedings.

A large number of supporters of both the PML-N and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have also gathered outside the Election Tribunal Office. The supporters are chanting slogans against each other and according to reports, minor clashes also erupted between them.

The PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had won the seat in May 2013 general elections from NA-122 by securing 93,362 votes while the PTI Chief Imran Khan remained runner up with 84,417 votes.

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However, Imran Khan challenged Sadiq’s victory in the election tribunal, alleging that rigging was carried out on a large scale in NA-122. But proceedings of the Imran Khan’s petition remained suspended for a year because of stay orders taken by Ayaz Sadiq.

On May 8, 2014, the election tribunal ordered to verify votes of NA-122 from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on a request made by Imran Khan, seeking opening the ballot bags in the constituency to investigate allegations of rigging in May 2013 polls.

The NADRA submitted its forensic report to the election tribunal on May 9 this year, according to which 93,582 votes in NA-122 could not be verified.

Later on August 17, the tribunal judge Kazim Ali Malik reserved verdict after speaker’s counsel concluded his arguments against Imran Khan’s petition.

The NA-122 is one of the four constituencies where the PTI had sought a recount and verification of voters’ thumb impressions.

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