KARACHI: Statistics showing abnormally high turnout confirm reports of rigging at several polling stations across Pakistan.
In at least 49 polling stations around all four provinces of the country, the number of votes polled far exceeds the registered voters, according to data from elections observer group FAFEN.
These include six polling stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 32 in Punjab, 10 in Sindh and one in Balochistan.
The largest discrepancy was found at a polling station in Rahim Yar Khan’s NA-193 constituency which witnessed a voter turnout of over 320 per cent, as 1010 votes were cast against 315 registered voters. A polling station in NA-6, Nowshera-II saw 2774 votes cast against 1023 maximum possible votes.
A polling station in Sindh’s NA-211 Naushero Feroze-I saw 982 votes against 491 votes, coming up to a voter turnout of 200 per cent.
The only constituency in Balochistan to witnessed over 100 per cent voter turnout was NA-262 Killa Abdullah, where at a polling station 184 per cent or 581 ballots against 315 registered voters were polled.
According to FAFEN’s observations, 32 polling stations in Punjab received over 100 per cent votes.
These included polling stations in NA-71 Mianwali-I, NA-122 Lahore-V, NA-124 Lahore-VII, NA-126 Lahore-IX, NA-127 Lahore-X, NA-128 Lahore-XI, NA-130 Lahore-XIII, NA-101 Gujranwala-VII, NA-105 Gujrat-II, NA-115 Narowal-I, NA-140 Kasur-III, NA-142 Kasur-V, NA-143 Okara-I, NA-147 Okara-V, NA-148 Multan-I, NA-151 Multan-IV, NA-168 Vehari-II, NA-175 Rajanpur-II, NA-193 Rahim Yar Khan-II, NA-195 Rahim Yar Khan-IV, NA-52 Rawalpindi-III, NA-74 Bhakkar-II, NA-94 Toba Tek Singh-III, and NA-98 Gujranwala-IV.
The five constituencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where number of votes was greater than voters registered at polling stations included NA-13 Swabi-II, NA-24 Dera Ismail Khan, NA-5 Nowshera-I, NA-6 Nowshera-II, and NA-7 Charsadda-I.
In Sindh, the constituencies included NA-198 Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-I (Old Sukkur-I), NA-200 Ghotki-I, NA-211 Naushero Feroze-I, NA-217 Khairpur-III, NA-218 Matiari-cum-Hyderabad (Old Hyderabad-I), NA-226 Mirpurkhas-cum-Umerkot-I (Old Mirpurkhas-I), NA-229 Tharparkar-I, NA-242 Karachi-IV, NA-256 Karachi-XVIII, and NA-257 Karachi-XIX. The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) had over 41,000 trained election observers monitoring polling at a sample of 8,119 polling stations across the country.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already taken notice of several complaints of rigging and irregularities.
“We will conduct re-polling where we receive substantial evidence of rigging or irregularities,” Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Ahmed told reporters in Islamabad.
The ECP has asked the civil society members to submit evidence of rigging or malpractice to the ECP.
Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khoso has also called for all complaints and evidence of irregularities in the general elections to be forwarded to the ECP so appropriate action may be taken by the commission.