ISLAMABAD, May 12: Rejecting the possibility that results of the elections could have been changed at any stage, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said on Sunday it would take the responsibility for each and every ballot paper.

“There is no reason for any doubt or fear because of the delay in publication of official results because a foolproof procedure under the law is being followed,” ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said at a press conference.

He said that under section 38 of the Representation of the People Act, 1976, a presiding officer was required to count votes immediately after the end of polling in the presence of candidates, election agents and polling agents and provide them information consistent with the orderly conduct of count and discharge of his responsibility in connection with the process.

Under the procedure, he said, valid ballot papers cast in favour of a candidate were put in separate packets and each packet was sealed with a certificate of count both in letters and figures, specifying the name and symbol of the candidates.

The ballot papers excluded from the count are put in separate packets which are kept in the main packet.

The presiding officer also prepares on the prescribed form a ballot paper account showing separately the number of ballot papers entrusted to him, the number of unused ballot papers, the number of ballot papers taken out of the ballot box or boxes and counted and the number of tendered, challenged and spoilt ballot papers.

The presiding officer is required to give a certified copy of the statement of count and ballot paper account to the candidates, their election agents or polling agents.

He seals in separate packets the un-issued, spoilt, tendered and challenged ballot papers, the marked copies of electoral rolls and counterfoils of used ballot papers.

The presiding officer obtains signatures of the candidates or their agents on each statement and packet prepared and records the fact if somebody refuses to sign it. A person required to sign a packet or a statement may, if he so desires, also affix his seal to it.

The presiding officer then sends the packets, statements of count and ballot paper count to the returning officer concerned who gives the candidates or their election agents a notice in writing of the day, time and place fixed for consolidation of the results and counts votes in their presence, including postal ballots.

After consolidation of the results, the returning officer provides a copy of the same to the candidates or their agents and reseals the packets and statements opened by him.

The returning officer then intimates the ECP the results of the count which is to be published in the commission’s official gazette.

Ishtiak Ahmed said the result of a winning candidate would not be published in the gazette if he failed to submit the return of election expenses within 10 days.

The ECP secretary said the election in NA-38 (Lower Dir) suspended because of law and order would be held within 10 days.

He said those elected as independents would have three days to join a political party after publication of the results in the official gazette. The candidates elected from more than one seat would have to retain one and by-elections on vacant seats would be held by the end of July, he added.

Mr Ishtiak said the quota of seats reserved for women and minorities would be worked out on the basis of numerical strength of political parties in the assemblies. He said that under the law, the National Assembly was to meet within 21 days after the elections.

Updated May 13, 2013 05:13am

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Comments (15) (Closed)


Nofil
May 13, 2013 02:39am
Shame on you ECP. You have cheated the people of Pakistan!
Syed
May 13, 2013 02:55am
DEAR ECP; YOU have failed miserably to achieve your objective and our fundamental right to have a fair election. We Pakistanis tried our best but looters win again. In the 5 years, Next election we need to set up a system where only online voting is accepted and eligible voters can give vote from anywhere in the world not like the same way it happened on May 11th. Our leader is IK and our party is PTI. We are only Pakistanis and long live Pakistan.
pakiboy
May 13, 2013 03:09am
koi PTI kay bachon ko samjahey yeh ja kar ..
Mohammad Farooq
May 13, 2013 03:35am
Yeh, I know what he meant by foolproof. May God help our country..........as the things have gone too wrong and too far.
Benish
May 13, 2013 03:42am
Very detailed explanation. ECP must repeat these details on at least leading news channels, so that people get aware of the fact that how difficult it is to change the results and also that the results are announced after consent of the candidates or their polling agents, so post-result allegations are actually baseless.
Usman
May 13, 2013 03:57am
Totally rigged elections. PTI's mandate was stolen and billions were spent on media, ECP and presiding officers all across Pakistan and especially in Punjab and Karachi. We DO NOT accept these elections.
Morad786
May 13, 2013 03:59am
Overall there may have been low level of irregularities, but there were massive irregularities in Lahore, South Punjab and Karachi..... Parties with grievences should protest peacefully and follow the legal and democratic process to challenge, whilst the media should not highlight this issue too much until clear verdict from election commission.... May Allah guide us all on the right path for our and our nations betterment!
Pakistani
May 13, 2013 05:32am
If ECP is taking the responsibility of every single ballot after all the evidence that is being spread on social media, there's nothing's left to say more about ECP. Their current stance on elections 2013 is self explanatory for those who understand. People who are aware and updated on social media are not easy to be deprived of information seized by newspapers and electronic media. the rosy picture of 2013 elections shown by media is not going to help; for those who have suffered the total violation of their legitimate right of voting wont stay quiet. What media is getting in return is the loss of trust by giving he selected information to general public.
khan
May 13, 2013 05:51am
shame on you election commission. Are you scared of bringing up the matters where rigging have been witnessed and police let that person have a safe exit!...Shame!
fraz
May 13, 2013 06:16am
if that is the case that all ballot papers are in the boxes why there are so many discarded in the garbage and how come the pictures are everywhere on facebook and internet. You make us believe everything went ok, but in this age it is difficult to hide. You should have cameras inside and outside each polling stations and should be monitored centrally. next time if there are no computerized using biometric technology it will be rigged again
zehra
May 13, 2013 06:25am
the point is what if the priesiding officer was held hostage to gun and people added the votes in the ballot? it was very very open to cheat! they forget that powerfuls will continue to ensure that we dnt actually vote! not satisfied with the ECp
Pakistani
May 13, 2013 07:09am
ECP has taken the idiom 'blow your own trumpet' to a whole new level. It is quite sad to see the officials of ECP congratulating themselves on holding free and fair elections. They need to calm themselves down and have an exit strategy in place because in coming days their will be videos etc. circulating the internet questioning and nullifying the claims of ECP and turning them in to a laughing stock.
Israr Khan Ismail Zai
May 13, 2013 07:21am
"foolproof system", LOL. What a joke and what a shame.
M. Asghar
May 13, 2013 09:43am
The election shows that Pakistan and its citizens are both passionate and rational and they will not let the coming government without a continuous accountability as it should be.
xeeshi
May 13, 2013 05:49pm
what is this, political agents are forcing people to vote their party otherwise they will cancel their vote.......