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Pakistan Elections 2024: Courts in Pakistan flood with petitions challenging general election results

Petitions filed in the Lahore High Court contest the victories of prominent figures like Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Aleem Khan. Notable politicians, including Parvez Elahi, Qaisera, Taimoor Jhagra, Mahmood Jan, Dr. Yasmin Rashid, and Rehana Dar, have also entered legal challenges.

Pakistan Elections 2024: Courts in Pakistan flood with petitions challenging general election results AJR
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First Published Feb 11, 2024, 3:05 PM IST

Following the recent general elections in Pakistan, the nation's courts are grappling with a massive number of petitions challenging the election results. Supported by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, many candidates allege electoral irregularities, particularly rigging. The Lahore High Court (LHC) bears the brunt of these petitions, joined by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the Sindh High Court (SHC).

While the Election Commission has not yet released the full poll results, PTI-backed independent candidates claim a lead in the National Assembly (NA) with 102 seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) follows with 74 seats, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 54 seats, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 17 seats, and other smaller parties securing 12 seats. Out of the 265 seats, the Election Commission has declared results for 259. However, the outcome for NA-88 is withheld due to fraud complaints.

Pakistan Elections 2024: Imran Khan's PTI calls for nationwide protest over delayed election results

Petitions filed in the Lahore High Court contest the victories of prominent figures like Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Aleem Khan. Notable politicians, including Parvez Elahi, Qaisera, Taimoor Jhagra, Mahmood Jan, Dr. Yasmin Rashid, and Rehana Dar, have also entered legal challenges.

The crux of their arguments lies in discrepancies between Form 45, the primary source of election results, and Form 47, which summarizes results at the polling station level. Accusations of collusion in altering results prompt demands for Form 47 to align with Form 45.

Political analyst Amir Zia notes that while 80 percent of the election results align with expectations, disputes arise in the remaining 20 percent, particularly concerning PML-N victories. Questions linger about PML-N candidates initially trailing but declared winners overnight.

The formation of the government in Pakistan remains uncertain, with expectations of a minority government and protracted negotiations. Additionally, a petition urging elected independent candidates to join a political party within three days of official notification has been filed in the Supreme Court.

Pakistan election results threaten to land country in deeper turmoil as Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif claim wins

This stems from PTI candidates running as independents due to symbol restrictions, challenging the fairness and constitutionality of independent members in the assemblies.

The petitioner invokes Article 51 of the Constitution, emphasizing the procedural norms for determining National Assembly seats and the functioning of the house. This petition adds a layer of complexity to an already intricate post-election landscape in Pakistan.

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