Pak election body seeks written reply from Imran Khan over controversial vote

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Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan has sought a written reply from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, who voted in violation of the code of conduct during the polls, a media report said today.

Khan’s counsel Babar Awan appeared before the ECP today, after the electoral body issued a notice to Khan for violating the secrecy of ballot, Geo TV reported.

Instead of going behind the voting screen to cast his vote in secrecy, Khan was seen publicly stamping the ballot paper on the table with TV cameras filming him. Neither the presiding officer nor other polling staff objected to the violation in the NA-53 constituency on July 25.

After hearing Awan’s argument over the matter, the ECP ordered a written reply from the PTI chairman and adjourned the hearing till August 16, the channel said.

According to Section 185 of the Election Act, a person can be given a six-month jail sentence and/or fine of Rs 1,000 for violating secrecy while voting.

PTI leader Naeemul Haque earlier placed the blame for Khan’s controversial vote on the polling staff.

Haque argued that there was no place to cast vote in private as the polling booth had become crowded far beyond its capacity, for which the polling staff are to be blamed.

Khan-led PTI won 116 National Assembly seats, but fell short of a simple majority and was striving to get required numbers to form a government. PTI