Rigging allegations

August 2, 2018

Soon after the General Elections 20181, almost all major parties of Pakistan rejected election results and showed their reservations, particularly on the vote counting process. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Awami National Party (ANP) and MMA have all claimed that the votes cast at various polling stations were changed behind closed doors after their polling agents were thrown out without giving them form-45. The major concerns of all these parties were that their polling agents were not given Form 45. Parties also blamed ECP for RTS system collapse, and voiced it as rigged election.

Form-45 contains essential data of each polling station of a constituency of the National Assembly or a provincial assembly though, as the controversy over Form-45 continued to rumble, the Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to upload the forms containing key data of polling stations on its website.

According to ECP at least 30,000 observers, including 400 foreign observers besides national and international media representatives, closely examined different phases of the electoral process to assess the conduct of free, fair and transparent polls. The European Union, Commonwealth and Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) observation missions in their preliminary reports held that the elections were free, fair and transparent.

While, on the other hand Election Commission of Pakistan also clarified that complaint cells had been established at the ECP secretariat and offices of provincial election commissioners to address the poll day complaints that are working 24/7. The cells received only 675 complaints which were immediately addressed.

It is also important to highlight here that prior to July 25, the Pakistan Army also rejected ‘political engineering’ allegations and said that there is no election in which political parties didn’t level rigging allegations.

There was no systematic ragging observed in the election 2018, as also reported by the foreign observers however, some irregularities like delaying elections results and collapse of RST system are also needed to be investigated, to identify the liable entities and for the improvement in future.

It is expects that the democratic forces and individuals while setting aside their personal gains would not only desist from uncalled criticism of constitutional institutions for the supremacy of constitution, law and democracy, but will also play their role for a stable democratic Pakistan.

Democratic forces are expected to play their role for a stable democratic Pakistan.

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