ECP to decide rigging complaints within 10 days

AsiaECP to decide rigging complaints within 10 days

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday said complaints about seven seats of the National Assembly from Karachi and 14 of Sindh Assembly would be decided within next 2-4 days after looking into the evidence, some of it provided by the European observers.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (R) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had revisited the port city of Karachi to assess problems and the commission also awaited reports from the returning officers, district returning officers, provincial election commission and regional and district election commissioners on the subject.

   

Around five political parties in Karachi, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami, boycotted the electoral process in Karachi and Hyderabad, citing massive rigging, seizure of election material and harassment of polling staff.

Allegations of rigging are directed at the MQM, directly or indirectly.Talking to media persons here at the Election Commission Secretariat, ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said a European Union team shared some evidences with him on the issue. He said it would have to be tackled as to why complaints of rigging repeatedly came from Karachi adding that the commission believed in transparency.

Regarding NA-250, he said there was an issue of election material and noted that the date for re-polling at 43 polling stations would be announced within 10 days. Ishtiak said the commission would also see as to why there was delay in the start of polling in some Karachi constituencies, as it was responsible for each and every ballot paper to ensure transparency.

He said in case of fake vote casting, ballot papers might be handed over to Nadra for verification of thumb impression.To a question, he noted that election tribunals were available to anyone to file complaints about the electoral process. He said the holding of election was the victory of the entire nation and democracy and congratulated the nation in this regard.

The ECP secretary pointed out that presiding officers hand the copies of results over to the candidates or their polling agents and share details with the returning officers, who then send them to the Election Commission and the results of a constituency were published in an official gazette only after the submission of a statement of expenditures by the candidates within 10 days after the polls.

He contended that the commission had so far officially announced the results of 44 NA seats and 120 seats of the four provincial assemblies. Ishtiak ruled out the possibility of tampering with the election results.

He said an independent winning candidate had three days to join a political party; otherwise, he would be notified as independent. He said the inaugural session of the National Assembly-elect had to be summoned within 21 days after the elections to elect speaker, deputy speaker and then the prime minister.

He noted there were seven cases in which candidates won from more than one constituency and they would have to opt for one. The seats falling vacant would be filled within 60 days, he added.

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