US once again urges Pakistan to investigate claims of 'election rigging'

US once again urges Pakistan to investigate claims of 'election rigging'

Matthew Miller said that the formation of a new government is an internal Pakistani matter
US once again urges Pakistan to investigate claims of 'election rigging'

Web Desk

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21 Feb 2024

The United States (US) has once again urged Pakistani authorities to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the claims of "any interference or fraud” in the February 8 general elections.

The request was put forward by US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a daily briefing, in response to the question about the rigging allegations leveled by former Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Ali Chatha.

“Any claims of interference or fraud should be fully and transparently investigated in accordance with Pakistan’s own laws and procedures. And that, of course, includes this claim as well,” Miller said.

Another journalist asked a question about the US stance on respecting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) mandate, whose backed candidates secured 92 seats in the National Assembly.

“But – so that’s a matter that I will leave to Pakistan. But as I said, when it comes to the – any claims of interference or allegations of irregularities, we want to see those fully investigated,” the spokesman responded.

The new Pandora box opened on February 17 when Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha surrendered to police after claiming that he made returning officers under him to change results for at least 13 MNA candidates.

However, he did not substantiate his claims with any proof or information as to who was the beneficiary of such irregularities.

Following the allegations, PTI demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the confessions.

After the Election Commission of Pakistan announced the results of the February 8 elections, PTI has been claiming that its candidates have secured the win on 180 NA seats and their mandate was stolen to favour rivals PML-N and PPP.

The claims made by PTI were rejected by PML-N and PPP and the political duo is set to form government in the centre after forging an alliance.

A day earlier, Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and Bilawal Bhutto's PPP struck a power-sharing deal under which Shehbaz Sharif will be the candidate for the PM slot and Asif Zardari will contest for the post of President.

However, PPP will only take key constitutional posts, including the Presidency, Senate chairman, Punjab governor, KP governor, and Deputy Speaker National Assembly.

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