By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is all set to announce the election schedule for the re-polling in seven controversial polling stations of PK-90 (Chitral II) in the first week of March.
ECP spokesman Khurshid Alam while talking to ChitralToday on Friday confirmed that they had received a proposal from the district returning officer (DRO) Chitral for holding the re-polling in the first week of March which is being considered by the commission.
“Hopefully, we’ll issue the schedule for the re-polling in the seven polling stations of Upper Chitral [PK-90]. We’ve got the proposal from the DRO for the re-polling there in the first week of March,” he added.
With the ECP disclosure, the rumours of PTI moving from pillar-to-post with a petition in hand died down, making it crystal clear that Ghulam Muhammad and his runner-up in the May 11, 2013, general elections will jump into the fray once again in a neck-and-neck competition in the ides of March.
To a question about the PTI petition, the ECP spokesman expressed ignorance, saying the court had not intimated them about any such development, adding had there been a petition in the apex court it must have informed the commission about it.
We don’t know whether someone has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking re-election in whole PK-90. We are moving according to our own schedule, for which as I told you, we’ve received a proposal for holding the re-polling in the first week of March, ECP spokesman Khurshid Alam.
The sources said that if the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as claimed by its local leadership could have been accepted by the Supreme Court registrar office, the commission would have been informed not to announce the election date.
They said that the rumours of filing a petition which was yet to see the dawn of the day despite passage of over a month is nothing but a well thought-out strategy by PTI to divert the attention of the people.
The sources also claimed that PTI was still making efforts for maintainability of its petition after it was rejected by the apex court. However, it has been clear that the petition was rejected by SC registrar office or else it would have been included in cause list for the month of February.
Meanwhile, election campaign has been kicked off in the seven polling stations with the two archrivals – Ghulam Muhammad and Sardar Hussain – vying to clinch the seat. The duo had started a door-to-door campaign, for which GM remained busy in Mastuj on Friday after covering rest of the polling stations right up in the mountains of Rech, Barum Zizdi and others.
His rival Sardar Hussain had also visited the Rech along with other party workers. The insiders say that the position of both the candidates is quite strong but GM might steal the show as he had announced some development projects in Barum, Zizdi and other polling stations prior to the re-election.