Lahore     -      A noted politician, Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, Friday wrote a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan saying that the Election Commission of Pakistan had “miserably failed to conduct the (general) elections in free, fair and impartial manner” in May 2018.

Makhdoom, who is also president of Pakistan Football Association and vice president of Asian Football Confederation, says in the open letter, “These elections were held under the Election Act 2017, which was passed by the Parliament.  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was under legal obligation to ensure the compliance of the provisions of the Act... The ECP has miserably failed to conduct the said elections in free, fair and impartial manner as is also required by the Constitution”

Saleh, who had contested the election for NA-114 Jhang-I, and was “managed” to be defeated, alleges that the provisions of the Election Act were “flagrantly violated which resulted in infecting the elections, and the entire election process (inclusive of pre-poll and post-poll events), with illegalities”.

He argues that all the political parties have rejected the results and made serious allegations upon the said elections so his case is a classic and fit example of not following the Constitution, the Act and also not performing the duties strictly in accordance with law.

He regrets that since the margin between him and “so-called” winner was only .02 percent of the total votes polled, the former was entitled to the recount of entire votes.

He says that he filed an application to Returning Officer (RO) for the recount of the total votes polled in the said constituency. However, he adds, the RO miserably failed to conduct the said proceedings in accordance with law.

He elaborates that he (RO) initially permitted the opening of the bags of 10 polling stations arid in the same order decided to open the bags of 75 polling stations; however, in the outcome of the said recounting of votes of the 10 polling stations, the victory margin of the so-called returned candidate got reduced with margin of 78 votes.

Hence, the politician says, the net change of votes in margin of victory after recount it was 13.24% of the change in margin.

“The Returning Officer, however, without assigning any reason and in sheer arbitrary manner also after coming to know about the said change in results reviewed its decision regarding the recount of votes and resorted to the consolidation of results,” he says.

He said that the total number of polling stations in the said constituency was 425 and the recount was likely to overturn the results in his favour. Thus, he submits, he was deprived of his guaranteed and vested rights of recounting by the RO.

He says that recounting of votes was also ordered by High Court but the apex courts directed that these issues may be raised before the Election Tribunals. Resultantly, he instituted Election Petition No.28 before the Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court. The election petition filed in September 2018 is still pending, he regrets.

He also expresses disappointment in the letter that the legal system has miserably failed to meet the mandatory requirements of providing the speedy justice.

“Therefore, the cardinal principle of law that justice delayed is justice denied and in the case of undersigned the justice has clearly been denied irreparably,” he prays.

“Though certain election petitions were decided by the learned Election Tribunal and that too on hyper technical reasons and the aggrieved party has filed the appeals before the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan. The said appeals are also pending for last more than six to seven months.”

 Therefore, he says, pursuing his election petition is a futile exercise; since the same is likely to consume the entire natural constitutional life of the National Assembly. Hence, he says, he is left with no other option but to withdraw the said election petition in protest.