ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has rejected the assertion of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the voting process was above suspicion and that people exercised their right to vote in a free environment without any complaints.
Responding to the claims of Election Commission on Wednesday, PPPP Secretary General (SG) ex-Senator Farhatullah Babar said, “Hollow claims and even more hollow explanations are worse than the flawed voting exercise.”
He said that the claim that ECP ensured “swift access of people to all electoral process” is belied by the breakdown of Result Transmission System (RTS) on one hand and inexplicable delay in transmission of results physically on the other.
Manipulation in the past was believed to have taken place at the time of consolidation of results in offices of Returning Officers after poll results had been sent by polling officers, he stressed.
Farhatullah Babar said that to minimize the role of RO this year, for the first time, the RTS was introduced so that polling officers directly transmitted the results to the ECP..
He said that the RTS however worked for some time on July 25 after the end of polling time until a sudden announcement said it had collapsed and poling officers were asked to submit results to ROs as in the past.
The role of Returning Officers that has always been mired in controversies in the past was thus revived, the PPP SG said and asked:
At what time the RTS collapsed and why? Why was no instant revival system or back up mechanism put in place?
If the collapse claim was false who decided to make the RTS dysfunctional through fake announcement and for what purpose?
Farhatullah Babar said that NADRA has been designing special transmission systems for banks, passport offices and money transactions services both nationally and internationally and none failed. Why this particular transmission system devised by it failed irreversibly, he asked adding ‘answers to these questions will make all pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall into place’.
The claim that national and international observers had endorsed fairness of the polls and that polling stations were not taken over by state agencies is not the whole truth, he said.
The PPP SG said that first, far from giving a clean chit the observers have expressed serious concerns over reshaping of the political environment ahead of the polls.
Secondly, if indeed the result transmission system was deliberately made dysfunctional there was no need for direct takeover of the polling stations by the state agencies, he added. INP