Pakistan Elections 2018: Awami National Party Workers Stage Protest Against Rigging in Polls
ANP workers protest against rigging in polls in KP (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Islamabad, Jul 30: Protests are being held by workers of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) against the alleged rigging in the just-concluded general elections held on July 25. Mass protests are being held in Charsadda, Buner, Lower Dir, Peshawar, Nowshera and other district headquarters in the province. Earlier on July 27, ANP central president Asfandyar Wali Khan said that his party rejected the results of the general elections due to rampant rigging and stated that peaceful protests would be held for the same in all district headquarters of KP province.

Addressing a press conference in Charsadda, Khan was quoted by The Dawn as saying, "We (ANP) follow Bacha Khan's philosophy of non-violence movement and therefore, we (ANP) will record our protest against poll rigging in a peaceful manner."

He alleged that the terrorists had attempted to keep ANP out from the 2013 elections and accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), caretaker government and the Pakistan Army for doing the same in this year's polls. Khan asserted that the polls were rigged to sway the results in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), particularly its chief Imran Khan. He claimed that all electoral agents were driven out from the polling stations during the counting of votes.

Khan added, "Some rigging videos circulating on social media are enough to open the eyes of the Election Commission of Pakistan. If the chief election commissioner wants to know the reality about election rigging, it is there on social media."

He stated that the elections were rigged to keep Pakhtun leaders out of the National Assembly and to favour a political party only, as per The Dawn report.

The ANP central president announced that the next course of action would be discussed over poll rigging and the prospects of re-election in the country.

Khan thanked the people of Pakistan for voting for ANP, despite unfavourable circumstances and hot weather conditions.

Amidst allegations of rigging in the recently concluded general elections in Pakistan, an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) spokesperson has asserted that the same were conducted fairly.

The PTI emerged as the single largest party with 115 seats, after the ECP on July 28 released the complete preliminary results for 270 of 272 National Assembly (NA) constituencies. However, the party fell short of the 137-majority mark.

The ECP completed the process after almost three days when the general elections were held. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which won 64 seats came second, while the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) bagged 43 seats and finished third.

Pakistan went to polls on July 25 and the counting of votes began soon thereafter in the evening, which was marred by tedious counting and allegations of rigging by major political parties, including the PML-N and PPP.

On July 27, a multi-party conference was called for by the PML-N to prepare a strategy over the alleged rigging of the General Elections 2018.

Chaired by PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the all-party conference has rejected the poll results and demanded a transparent re-election in the country.