May 6, 2015

Saad Rafique derailed by Tribunal's response, PTI supporters celebrating

Yesterday the news came of the tribunal response over rigging in general elections 2013, which no doubt broke the internet in Pakistan, perhaps more bigger news than Kim Kardashian used to break on internet.

A Pakistani election tribunal expelled a senior minister and ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from parliament on Monday for vote rigging in a 2013 election, a decision the opposition said vindicated its complaints.

Protests last year over cheating in the election, which brought Pakistan's first transition between civilian governments, were led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and raised fears about stability in the nuclear-armed country.

"It took two years to get a verdict and it has been proved that election staff conducted post-poll rigging," Khan told reporters. "They should be interrogated to know who asked them to do so."

Railways Minister Saad Rafique denied the accusations of irregularities, saying election organizers were responsible and he would challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

"The tribunal is punishing my party and my voters for the incompetence of the returning and presiding officers," Rafique told Reuters by telephone.

Rafique is free to run again in a by-election in the constituency in the city of Lahore. The tribunal said a new vote must be held in 60 days.

The vote was largely seen as a genuine reflection of the electorate's will but irregularities are common in Pakistani elections.

Last year, Khan organised a sit-in protest in central Islamabad to demand a new election.

Media reported it was said in the hearing, the judge castigated election workers and said ballot bags had been opened with a sharp object and records had been tampered with.

After this all PTI fans were happy and satisfied for the verdict given by tribunal and they demand Rafique to be disqualified for taking part in elections again.

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