Opposition senators strongly condemned the alleged rigging in the February 8 elections and criticized Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for what they perceived as his failure to ensure transparency in the polls. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) demanded the resignation of CEC Raja, accusing him of overseeing fraudulent elections that would result in a deceitful government. Ahmed leveled serious allegations against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), accusing it of committing treason and called for accountability under Article 6 of the constitution.

He urged the return of the Rs50 billion allocated for the elections and the establishment of an autonomous judicial commission to investigate irregularities, particularly regarding Form 45.

In addition, Ahmed criticized the suspension of the social media platform, X (formerly Twitter), alleging economic and educational damage and asserting that it violated people’s rights. He insisted on the restoration of all social media platforms without restrictions.

Irfan Siddiqui of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) challenged the PTI’s stance on alleged rigging, pointing out contradictions in their approach to election results.

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PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal expressed dissatisfaction with the role of returning officers (ROs) and demanded accountability for their alleged acceptance of bribes. He questioned the justification for internet shutdowns during the night when polling had already concluded.

Senator Shafiq Tareen of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) called for an investigation into the alleged bribery of ROs, claiming that billions of rupees were exchanged to influence election outcomes. He lamented the theft of the people’s mandate and criticized the manipulation of results, including the case where a withdrawn candidate was declared the winner.

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