LAHORE, May 13: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan election monitors across the country did not find any evidence of systematic rigging on May 11 and urged all political parties to respect the people’s verdict and avoid doing anything that could derail the democratic system.

In a press statement issued on Monday, the HRCP said: “Taking note of protests by some political parties against the election results, HRCP wants to remind all parties that the democratic process that has been revived in the country after much exertion must not be disrupted.

We wish to point out that HRCP did not find any credible evidence of large-scale or systematic rigging in the country. This view is based on the findings of HRCP election observation teams on the ground across the country. These teams had the benefit of HRCP’s record of monitoring each and every election in the country since 1988.

HRCP election monitors have certainly noted instances of individual malpractices here and there, and HRCP is concerned that the election process was badly affected in Balochistan by lack of adequate security. Serious complaints of irregularities have been received from a couple of constituencies and a long delay in the announcement of results has caused unrest. All these complaints in Balochistan and elsewhere must be fairly addressed.

The commission urged the losers in the elections to admit defeat gracefully, citing example of the Awami National Party (ANP), rather than fueling emotions on the basis of allegations that were not borne out by evidence.

It said the election results were also a warning for those who now took over that the people would judge them too on their performance and governance. It also urged the political parties to accept each other’s mandate and not to do anything to derail the system and focus their all energies on resolving the numerous challenges facing Pakistan.

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