ECP report admits shortcomings in 2013 polls

ecpSBP, FBR, NADRA and NAB did not cooperate fully with the EC

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan Monday quietly released a review report, which was formulated in December 2013, on May 2013 general elections wherein it is admitted that various irregularities were committed during the elections.

A draft of the 175-page report titled ‘Post-Election Review Report (General Elections 2013)’ was released on ECP’s website.

The report admitted that candidates got clearance clear to run for elections without proper scrutiny as the State Bank, FBR, NADRA and NAB did not cooperate fully with the Election Commission.

It also pointed out that a Results Management System devised by the UNDP was a failure.

The report said that in some areas, teams appointed by the ECP for campaign monitoring could not deliver the expected outcome, and violations of the code of conduct by some candidates went unnoticed.

Another challenge faced was lack of support from political parties and contesting as candidates they were seen violating the code of conduct that was formulated in consultation with them. They certainly had responsibilities to make electoral process smooth and credible.

The ROs had the full authority to accept or reject nomination papers of the contesting candidates, but the ECP did not issue specific instructions on how to undertake this process and it was left to the ROs’ discretion/judicial competence, the report said.

It added provisions of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution are subjective, and the application of these clauses varied from one RO to another. This caused inconsistencies in the scrutiny process. The new nomination form has superfluous information and many aspiring candidates sought help in completing this new form.

The ECP tried to obtain and make public potential candidates’ records of the SBP, FBR, the NAB and NADRA.

The scrutiny period was too short, and some of these organizations did not provide information in the required time, so candidates were cleared without proper verification. A centralized scrutiny cell was set up in the ECP Secretariat with members from NAB, SBP, FBR and NADRA to verify the candidates’ nomination papers.

“Though it was a good initiative, this cell did not perform effectively,” the report said. Agencies


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