Breach of ballot secrecy: ECP accepts Imran Khan’s apology

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 10 (APP): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday accepted the apology tendered by Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan over violating the electoral code of conduct by breaching secrecy of ballot during General Election 2018 on polling day.
The electoral body also decided issuing PTI’s chief’s victory notification from National Assembly constituency NA-53.
A written reply and an affidavit was submitted by the PTI chief earlier today during a hearing of a four-member commission that was headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza.
ECP members from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan suggested to withdraw the notice issued to PTI chairman.
The commission had sought a signed apology from Imran Khan and also rejected the response submitted by his counsel Babar Awan a day earlier, who had submitted a written reply on behalf of Imran Khan in violation of secrecy of ballot case by claiming that he had not deliberately shown his vote while casting the ballot on July 25.
He argued in the statement that Imran Khan’s prior permission was not sought before showing him cast his vote.
He said that the secrecy screen behind which a voter is supposed to stamp the ballot had fallen due to heavy crowd in the room.
He said even Imran Khan had asked election officials where he should stand to stamp the ballot papers. The counsel urged the ECP to dismiss the case against Imran Khan and issue the notification of his victory from NA-53.
After initially reserving its verdict, the ECP had rejected the written statement submitted by Babar Awan due to without having Imran Khan’s signature on it with direction to submit the signed reply of the PTI chief.