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Pakistan Politician Gives Up Seat, Saying Vote Was Rigged in His Favour

Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party was declared winner of the provincial seat 129 in Karachi after securing more than 26,000 votes, in Pakistan's February 8 national and provincial elections.

A senior Pakistan politician who won provincial elections in the country’s commercial city of Karachi last week has given up his seat, saying the polls were rigged in his favour.

Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party was declared winner of the provincial seat 129 in Karachi after securing more than 26,000 votes, in Pakistan’s February 8 national and provincial elections.

But Rehman said the election was rigged in his favour against an independent candidate backed by jailed ex-prime minister Imran Khan’s party. At a party press conference, he said he found that votes cast for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party-backed independent candidate Saif Bari were reduced to 11,000 from 31,000 when records of votes polled at individual polling stations were tabulated.

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“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,” Rehman is quoted to have said at that press conference held by his party on Monday.

Pakistan’s February 8 elections have been marred by accusations of rigging to defeat independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan. However, the caretaker government and Pakistan’s election commission have rejected the allegations and said the country has laws and systems to look into such complaints.

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