Hafiz Naeem quits PS-129 seat to ‘respect PTI’s mandate’

KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman Monday said that he would be giving up his seat in the Sindh Assembly, PS-129, from Karachi that he won in the February 8 general elections. 

He claimed that the candidate supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had won the seat, not him.

Speaking at a news conference in Karachi, Naeem asserted that he did not want a "charity" seat and that the opponent, who was supported by the PTI, had won the seat.

He said that while he was withdrawing from the seat, he would keep up the legal and political fight to win back every seat his party had lost as a result of "vote-rigging".

"You cannot change the people’s mind through fake mandate," he said.

In the February 8 general elections, he won the Sindh Assembly seat PS-129 from Karachi Central. However, he said it was the PTI-supported candidate who won on PS-129, not him.

“I do not want a seat in charity. It should be given to the one who has the right to it,” he said.

Naeem said the PTI candidate received more votes, so he was accepting PTI’s victory and mandate. He added that he had enough dignity within himself to accept that the independent candidate had won on PS-129

The JI leader also announced that he would not take oath as an MPA on the seat.

As per Form 45, the PTI-affiliated candidate won PS-129, hence he should take oath on that seat, he said. He said according to the ECP’s Form 47, he bagged 26,000 votes, whereas, he bagged 30,464 votes as per Form 45s.

Vowing to launch the battle to get back their “winning seats”, the JI Karachi chief said even on his winning seat his votes were shown as 26,000, when he had bagged 30,000.

Demanding election results on the basis of Form 45, Naeem said they wanted all those seats where his party had won.

The JI leader claimed that his decision to return the seat was a "slap in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s face". He also rebuked the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) for celebrating the “fake mandate”.

The JI leader said a large number of their polling agents were not provided Form 45 and the worst kind of rigging was conducted through Form 47. The returning officers’ offices were sealed from all sides so that they could not approach him, he said.

He claimed that people gave them more votes in the general elections than in last year's local government polls.

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