Pakistan: New vote ordered for lower house official

KARACHI, Pakistan

An election tribunal on Friday disqualified the deputy speaker of the country’s lower house over alleged vote-rigging, according to court records and local media.

Qasim Suri, who was elected to the National Assembly from the Southwestern Balochistan province in last year’s general elections and later won the deputy speaker’s seat, was disqualified by an election tribunal of the Balochistan High Court on the petition of his rival candidate, local broadcaster Dawn News reported.

Suri, a flamboyant leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has seven days to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.

His rival candidate, who lost by a close margin, argued that out of 114,000 votes cast in the constituency in the general elections, some 65,000 were fake and could not be verified by the election commission.

The tribunal declared Suri’s election null and void and ordered fresh polls for his seat.

Suri was not available to comment on the judgement.
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