The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday accepted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail's application for reconting of votes in the NA-249 Karachi by-election.
The ECP directed leaders of political parties who had contested the by-election to reach the office of the returning officer (RO) at 9 am on May 06 for the recount, Dawn reported.
PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz welcomed that Ismail's application was accepted.
"Happy to learn that PMLN's demand for a vote recount in NA-249 has been accepted. The narrow difference in votes of the top contestants necessitated this in the interest of transparency. Credibility of vote is a sure foundation of democracy," he tweeted.
Moreover, Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP), whose candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhail clinched victory in the NA-249 by-poll, welcomed the ECP's move as well.
"PPP welcomes new precedent set by allowing consistency wide recount without specific ps complaints. Many seats from 2018 fall within 5% threshold & candidates have not been given this chance. Once ECP order is out PPP will consider going to ECP for recounts in all such seats," tweeted PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
Ismail's lawyer said during the hearing today that signatures of presiding officers of 167 polling stations were missing from a form, while urging ECP to probe "irregularities" in the April 29 by-election, Dawn reported.
PPP lawyer Lateef Khosa argued that the PML-N did not raise any objection on any form during the polling on April 29. "It is not enough to say there were irregularities. It needs to be identified where and what irregularities occurred," he said.
Mandokhail has emerged victorious in the NA-249 by-election in Karachi by a margin of 16,156 votes, according to provisional results released early on Friday.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) Miftah Ismail came second with 15,473 votes, followed by the candidate from the recently banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Mufti Nazeer Ahmed Kamalvi, who secured 11,125 votes, Dawn reported citing unofficial results.
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal came in the fourth place with 9,227 votes, followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Amjad Afridi with 8,922 votes.
The NA-249 seat had fallen vacant after PTI's Faisal Vawda resigned over his dual nationality controversy and became a senator.
The election came after Imran Khan's ruling PTI suffered an upset when its candidate Ali Asjad Malhi lost the hotly-contested NA-75 seat in Daska to PML-N's Nosheen Iftikhar earlier this month. (ANI)