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Votes to be verified through thumb impressions

May 21, 2013


Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). - File Photo
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). - File Photo

ISLAMABAD, May 20: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is ready to carry out verification of thumb impressions of voters with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) if ordered by election tribunals set up to hear complaints about rigging or irregularities in the May 11 elections.

However, complainants will have to pay charges ranging between Rs10 and Rs15 for verification of each vote.

This was announced by ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan and Nadra chairman Tariq Malik at a press conference after a meeting on Monday.

Mr Khan said that Nadra would carry out verification and present reports to the ECP and the tribunals. The commission asked Nadra to develop the software for matching voters’ thumbprints with its database as early as possible.

Mr Khan said the decision to get thumb impressions of voters on electoral rolls had been made to evolve a mechanism to remove doubts and address complaints about rigging. The ECP had used a special “magnetic ink” for getting thumb impressions of voters on the recommendation of Nadra.

He said the demand for verification had come from several political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf , which would be met.

Under the constitution, the ECP secretary said, sessions of the assemblies would have to be convened within 21 days of the elections, but the commission and its tribunals would continue hearing complaints even after official results had been declared. The Nadra chairman said the organisation had a data of 96 per cent of the country’s adult population.

Nadra did not have a system to verify thumbprints of voters, he said and expressed the hope that it would be able to do so in two weeks.

Soon, he added, Nadra would acquire the capability of verifying 500,000 thumb impressions per day.

Mr Malik said that the cost of required hardware and software would have to be borne by the caretaker government and the operational charges ranging between Rs10 and Rs15 per thumb impression would be paid by complainants.

NA-250 RESULTS: The ECP announced official results of election in Karachi’s NA-250 constituency and PS-112 and PS-113 constituencies of the Sindh Assembly after re-polling at 43 polling stations on Sunday.

According to the results, Dr Arif Alvi of the PTI won the election in NA-250 by securing 77,659 votes. His rivals Khushbakht Shujaat of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Naimatullah Khan of Jamaat-i-Islami obtained 30,365 and 11,698 votes, respectively.

The MQM and the PPP had boycotted the re-polling.

The voter turnout stood at 35.48 per cent as 129,725 of 365,531 registered voters cast their votes.

In PS-112, Khurram Sher Zaman of the PTI emerged victorious with 35,560 votes and Hafiz Mohammad Suhaib of the MQM emerged as runner-up with 22,973 votes. The turnout was recorded at 41.52pc as 67,586 of 162,754 registered voters polled their votes.

PTI’s Samar Ali Khan was declared winner in PS-113 with 38,247 votes. Salim Zia of the PML-N secured 11,753 votes and the PPP’s Asad Zubairi 1,414. The turnout stood at 29.06pc as 64,160 of the 220,777 registered voters cast their votes.