Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Like the PML-N, the PPP and several other parties have expressed serious concerns over the delay in the release of official results and the alleged expulsion of their polling agents from polling stations during counting of the votes for general elections 2018.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the situation "inexcusable and outrageous", saying he has not received the official results from any of the constituencies that he is contesting even though it is past midnight.

PPP's Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman and other leaders also addressed a press conference to express their reservations over the situation.

Rabbani said: "Throwing out polling agents is a serious issue with serious repercussions. Polling agents are being thrown out in Badin, and results are being withheld in PS-66 Hyderabad."

Rabbani called for the ECP to address the complaints made, and asked for Form-45 to be handed over to winning candidates.

"We said this earlier too, that if the will of the people is manipulated in this way, there will be serious consequences," he added.

Sherry Rehman claimed, "There has been a clear trend of interference, in which all parties except one are being pushed to the wall."

She said that all of Malir's NA results had been withheld, adding that the PPP had received more than 250 complaints. Similar reports have been received from Multan and Jacobabad, she said, warning that the scenario was a cause for alarm.

"The whole election could be declared null and void considering just what has occurred over the last three hours," she claimed.

"Polling agents have to be in the room during the tally for the sake of transparency," she said.

"We expect action to be taken over our complaints by midnight, and for the question mark over the impartiality of these elections to be addressed."

PPP's Maula Bux Chandio claimed that his party's agents were not allowed inside polling stations in Badin. Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Raza Haroon made the same claim about the treatment meted out to their agents at different polling stations across Karachi.

'Counting hasn't even started'

Independent candidate Jibran Nasir tweeted after midnight complaining that counting has not even begun at polling station GBSS Zamzama and claimed that the presiding officer there yelled "go home if you want".

He too has said that his polling agents were sent away without Form 45 from at least six polling stations.

MQM-Pakistan leader Faisal Subzwari claimed that the district returning officers (DRO) and presiding officers in three constituencies of Karachi and two constituencies of Hyderabad were refusing to give Form 45 to his party's agents.

He has also complained that MQM-P's polling agents were not allowed inside some polling stations in two constituencies during the counting process.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman said he was going to call an All Parties Conference over the "rigged" election results.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders and supporters, in the meanwhile, have kicked off early celebrations in different parts of the country as unofficial results show the party in the lead.

ECP denies allegations

In response, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh said that all polling agents had been providing Form-45 to polling agents. The form contains the final vote tally at each polling station.

Yaqoob asked all parties to approach the commission with specific complaints against ROs as well as the polling stations where irregularities are allegedly occurring.

He said that the only information he had received so far is that polling agents whose parties are not performing well are leaving the stations without taking the forms, and then saying they haven't received them.

He said that in case any proof is brought forward, action will be taken against all individuals found involved.

The provincial election commissioner in Punjab categorically denied the allegations levelled by the PML-N.

"Political leaders should refrain from levelling such baseless allegations without having any substantial proof," the ECP official said.

Explaining the process, the election commissioner clarified that only one polling agent of every party is allowed inside the polling station at the time of counting of votes.