Pakistani Politician Rejects Rigged Victory, Steps Down After Election Controversy

Pakistani Politician Rejects Rigged Victory, Steps Down After Election Controversy

  • An unbelievable act of modesty transpired recently in the just-concluded Pakistani election
  • A candidate seeking a seat in the parliament, Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, emerged victorious at the poll
  • However, upon discovering that his victory was achieved through electoral fraud, Rehman graciously relinquished his win journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

Karachi, Pakistan - A Pakistani politician who emerged victorious in the recent contentious national elections has decided to relinquish his seat, alleging that the vote was manipulated in his favour.

Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, representing the Jamaat-e-Islami Party, was initially declared the provincial assembly seat PS-129 winner in Karachi.

Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman too a modest leap to step down his victory.
Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman speaks to the media after submitting nomination papers at the deputy commissioner's office in Karachi on December 22, 2023. Photo Credit: RIZWAN TABASSUM
Source: Getty Images

However, he now asserts that the candidate supported by Imran Khan's PTI party garnered significantly more votes and that their count was tampered with.

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Rehman honourably steps down

Consequently, he has opted to step down from the position.

As quoted by BBC, he said:

"If anyone wants to make us win in an illegitimate manner, we will not be accepting that.
"Public opinion should be respected, let the winner win, let the loser lose, no one should get anything extra."

He mentioned that despite garnering over 26,000 votes, the independent candidate Saif Bari, supported by the PTI, supposedly secured 31,000 votes, but these were reported as only 11,000 votes.

The Pakistani electoral authorities have refuted the accusations. The occupant of the PS-129 seat is currently uncertain.

Election controversy in Pakistan

This occurrence adds to the ongoing turmoil surrounding Pakistan's recent elections, held last Thursday, characterised by accusations of extensive vote manipulation and meddling, purportedly harming candidates associated with Khan.

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The ex-prime minister, incarcerated since August, saw his party disqualified from the election, forcing PTI members to run as independents.

Despite this setback, voters nationwide rallied in support of his agenda.

Independent candidates, mostly aligned with PTI, secured 93 out of 265 National Assembly seats, the highest count for any single party.

Nonetheless, PTI asserts these candidates should have garnered more support and seats, citing allegations of vote tampering.

Rehman's honour restored as opposition applauds

They also praised the Islamist party for relinquishing the Karachi seat.

Despite PTI's victory in the popular vote, rival parties led by Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's PPP announced earlier this week that they had struck a deal to establish a government.

PML-N secured 75 seats in the recent election, while PPP came in third with 54 seats.

They have also forged a coalition with smaller parties like MQM. Furthermore, they will be granted additional seats from the 70 reserved for women and non-Muslims, which independent candidates cannot access.

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This move ensures they will comfortably surpass the 169 seats required to form a government.

PML-N and PPP, formerly allies, joined forces to remove Khan from power in 2022.

Shehbaz, the brother of Mr. Sharif, assumed the role of prime minister then and is now poised to lead Pakistan once more potentially.

Khan was removed from office following a vote of no confidence in parliament.

Subsequently, he faced multiple criminal charges, resulting in a 14-year sentence just before the elections, with several sentences to be served concurrently.

Khan has denounced these legal actions as politically motivated and baseless.

Pakistan's interim government has refuted the 71-year-old's claims of being targeted for political reasons.

Pakistan: Ex-prime minister Imran Khan jailed for 10 years

In another report, a Pakistan court has sentenced a former prime minister and cricketer, Imran Khan, to 10 years imprisonment.

Khan was sent to prison on Tuesday, January 30, just days before the national parliamentary elections.

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An aide to the popular politician, Zulfikar Bukhari, said the conviction was an attempt to weaken support for Khan.


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