US calls for an open inquiry into Pakistan’s Electoral Irregularities

WASHINGTON D.C.: At a press conference on Monday, US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller voiced concerns about alleged irregularities and fraud in the most recent Pakistani elections.

Miller praised Pakistanis for their election participation and for defending their nation’s democratic institutions while addressing a group of journalists.

Miller stated, “We expressed those concerns privately and publicly,” referring to the anomalies noticed throughout the election process. The Pakistani administration was urged to respect the electorate’s decision by the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), and the European Union (EU).

Miller continued, “We emphasize that we want to see respect for the free press, the constitution, the rule of law, and the will of civil society respected.”

The United States denounced incidences of violence related to politics and elections, as well as limitations on mobile and internet services that harmed the electoral process.

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Miller emphasized the significance for Pakistan’s legal system to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into allegations of fraud and meddling. “We’ll keep an eye on that in the coming days,” he said.

In response to inquiries concerning cooperation with the recently elected Pakistani government in the wake of fraud and irregularity claims, Miller emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough inquiry. “Once the government is formed, we’re ready to work with whoever the people of Pakistan choose to represent them,” he said.Miller said, “We want freedom of assembly respected anywhere in the world,” in response to questions about it in Pakistan. Miller emphasized the significance of letting Pakistan’s judicial system handle the situation first, even though he was open to taking particular suggestions for an outside probe into consideration.

Read More: EU Pakistan expresses despair over claims of serious meddling in 2024 Election process
“With regard to further actions, they ought to be considered after Pakistan’s legal system has had a chance to function properly,” Miller said.

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Elections2024: Results can come late due to security issues: CEC

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has affirmed that the reopening of the internet will be contingent upon the resolution of security concerns.

In an official statement, the CEC emphasized the autonomy of the Election Commission’s systems, clarifying that they operate independently from internet services.

“If there is a security issue somewhere, then why should the Election Commission be directed to restore the internet, the best system for announcing results is available, results can come at 8 o’clock and also at 9 o’clock,” said CEC.

Addressing recent internet shutdowns, the CEC underscored that such matters fall outside the Election Commission’s purview. He reassured the public that the Commission’s internal mechanisms are operational and affirmed ongoing communication with governmental authorities.

Additionally, the CEC asserted the robustness of the Election Commission and reiterated that internet-related issues are not within their mandate.

Regarding voter verification procedures, the CEC highlighted that voters were scheduled to verify their status via the designated helpline number, 8300. Following the issuance of the election scheme, voters are urged to verify their registration status accordingly.

Responding to queries about directing the Election Commission to restore internet services in areas experiencing security challenges, Sikandar Sultan questioned the rationale behind such directives.

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He underscored the efficiency of the current system for result announcements, ensuring timely dissemination regardless of internet availability.

Furthermore, he outlined the provision of three polling stations for provincial constituencies and four for national constituencies within the SMS system, facilitating electoral processes despite connectivity issues.

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Election 2024: Latest update on polling time extension

ISLAMABAD: Polling hours ended in Pakistan. As earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a statement that voting time will not be extended.

Polling for the general election of National Assembly and four provincial assemblies is ended across the country.

The polling that started at 8 am has ended at 5 pm without any break. Voting is being held on 265 seats of National Assembly and 590 seats of four provincial assemblies.

ECP authorities in a statement said that unofficial results could be broadcast by media after 6 pm.

They said that the ECP has so far received 55 complaints regarding the electoral process, adding that 45 of them had been addressed.

While PTI asks ECP to extend polling time

PTI asked the ECP to extend the polling time. According to the details, the PTI had decided to officially submit the application to the ECP.

PTI Chief Organiser Omar Ayub said: “We have received many complaints about the slow polling process.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to the masses for casting votes in large numbers despite the internet outage,” Ayub said.

“The electoral watchdog should extend the polling time until 6:00 pm.,” he said.

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Election 2024: Pakistan’s highly anticipated voting of General Elections 2024 starts

LAHORE: In spite of security concerns, voting for the postponed general elections of 2024 will start at 8:00 am and go nonstop until 5:00 pm.

There are 5,121 candidates running for the 265 National Assembly seats up for election. Of these, 312 are female, 4807 are male, and 2 are transsexual.

There are 12,965 candidates running for the four provincial assembly seats, 12123 of them are men, 570 of them are women, and two of them are transgender. According to information gathered by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), there are 128,585,760 registered voters nationwide.

Read more: Election 2024: Mobile service suspends in Pakistan on Election day

How many polling stations are in Pakistan?

In the nation, EP has set up 90,777 polling places. Of them, 29,985 have been deemed sensitive, 16,766 as highly sensitive, and 44,000 as routine polling places.

Principal Parties in the Election

ANP, MQM-P, JI, JUI-F, PML-N, PPP, and JI are some of the main parties running in 3024. But because of faulty party elections, Imran Khan’s PTI is not listed on the ballot; instead, it has lost its electoral symbol, the bat.

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Security Measures done by Government:

In order to protect voters on election day, the government has stationed over 650,000 security guards on the ground.

Police officers, members of the military forces, and members of the civil defense are among the security authorities. Armed forces personnel will carry out their duties outside polling places under a three-tiered structure.

Police officers have taken up positions at the voting places in the nation’s capital and will remain there overnight.

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PPP raises concerns over election results system

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has submitted its reservations regarding the new election results system to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

In a formal letter addressed to the ECP, the PPP outlined its concerns with the Election Management System (EMS), citing potential issues related to transparency and reliability. The party highlighted the ECP’s previous rejection of WhatsApp due to internet connectivity issues during a parliamentary committee session, expressing skepticism that the new EMS application could encounter similar challenges.

“The use of the EMS App will compromise transparency of the election,” the PPP argued, emphasizing the importance of utilizing a reliable platform for transmitting election results. The party advocated for the reinstatement of WhatsApp as the preferred method for sending election results, proposing additional measures such as the direct sharing of results with candidates and election agents to enhance accountability.

Furthermore, the PPP proposed the formation of WhatsApp groups to facilitate communication and address polling complaints effectively. The party voiced concerns that the new election results system might repeat the challenges encountered with the Real-Time Transmission System (RTS) used during the 2018 election, urging the ECP to prioritize transparency and reliability in the electoral process.

The PPP’s proactive stance underscores its commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring a fair electoral environment for all stakeholders. With the submission of its reservations to the ECP, the party aims to foster greater trust and confidence in the electoral process, paving the way for a transparent and accountable election outcome.

The ECP is yet to respond to the PPP’s concerns, but the party’s initiative signals a proactive approach towards addressing potential challenges and advocating for improvements in Pakistan’s electoral system. As the country prepares for future elections, the PPP’s advocacy for transparency sets a positive precedent for constructive dialogue and reform within the electoral framework.

Read more: Election 2024: ECP issues postal ballots for Feb 8 elections

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