Pakistan commission rejects poll-rigging claims

2015-07-23 22:10
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Islamabad - A judicial commission on Thursday rejected claims by Pakistani cricketer-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan that the country's 2013 general election was rigged, saying the poll was largely fair.

Khan claimed his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had been robbed of victory in the ballot by a shadowy conspiracy involving poll officials and the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN), which won by a landslide.

PTI staged a large sit-in protest in front of parliament for several months last year to try to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power over the claims.

Sharif held on and in March agreed to set up a judicial commission to investigate claims of foul play in the landmark poll, which marked the first handover of power from one elected civilian government to another in Pakistan's history.

On Thursday the three-judge commission, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, delivered its 237-page report.

It said the election was "in large part organised and conducted fairly and in accordance with the law" and allegations of a plot to rig the result were not supported by evidence.

The report pointed to shortcomings by the Electoral Commission of Pakistan, but said the evidence did not support claims the result was not a "true and fair reflection of the mandate given by the electorate".

After the release, Sharif said in a nationwide televised address that his party was going to "forget whatever happened after the 2013 elections" and also hoped that his rivals would also avoid negative politics in future.

PTI chief Imran Khan said he accepted the commission's decision, but would give a detailed reaction later after reading their report in full.

Local and foreign observers said the 2013 polls were credible, and some analysts believe the demonstrations were co-ordinated by the powerful army as a means of reasserting its dominance over civilian authorities.

The PTI's sit-in protest, which eventually lasted for 126 days, coincided with a similar demonstration led by populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.

The protests flared into clashes with police and destabilised Sharif's government last August, briefly sparking frenzied rumours of an impending military coup.

The protests drew thousands to the streets of Islamabad, but Khan and Qadri's call failed to mobilise mass support beyond the capital in a country of 200 million people.

Read more on:    pakistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.