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‘I can’t accept illegitimate victory,’ Pakistani politician declines seat, says votes rigged in his favour

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'I can't accept illegitimate victory,' Pakistani politician declines seat, says votes rigged in his favour

In a show of sportsmanship, Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, a Pakistani politician who was announced winner of PS-129 provincial election in Karachi, has refused to take up his seat, noting that voting was manipulated in his favour.

Pakistan held its national and provincial elections on February 8 and Rehman, who contested on the platform of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, said the election was rigged in his favour against independent candidate Saif Bari.

Bari is backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.

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Rehman was named winner of PS-129 in the controversial national elections after polling over 26,000 votes.

The Jamaat-e-Islami candidate, however, said he discovered Bari’s votes were reduced from 31,000 to 11,000 when records of votes polled at individual polling stations were computed.

He said he would not accept an illegitimate victory, hence his decision to step down.

“If anyone wants to make us win in an illegitimate manner, we will not be accepting that,” Rehman was quoted as saying on Monday.

“Public opinion should be respected. Let the winner win; let the loser lose; no one should get anything extra.”

The polls were marred by allegations of interference and widespread fraud, but Pakistani electoral authorities have denied the claims.

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