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ISLAMABAD: As the controversy over Form-45 continues to simmer, the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan has decided to upload the forms containing key data of polling stations on its website in three days.

“It is a requirement of the law and we will fulfil it in the next three days instead of waiting for the last day,” an ECP official told Dawn.

Form-45 contains essential data of each polling station of a constituency of the National Assembly or a provincial assembly.

For the first time in the country’s electoral history, the form provides gender-wise disaggregated data of votes cast at a polling station. The form is also supposed to list names of contesting candidates, the number of valid votes polled in favour of each candidate, number of valid tendered votes polled in favour of each candidate, number of valid challenged votes polled in favour of each candidate, total number of valid votes polled in favour of each candidate and number of votes excluded from the count.

The ECP official referred to Section 95 (8) of the Elec­tions Act-2017. It reads: “The Returning Officer shall, with­­in 24 hours after the consolidation proceedings, send to the Commission signed copies of the consolidated statement of the results of the count and final consolidated result together with results of the count and the ballot paper account, as received from the Presiding Officers, and shall retain copies of these documents for record.”

He said that under Section 95 (10), the ECP was required to place within 14 days from the polling day the documents received from returning officers on its website.

Since polling day, a majority of political parties have been alleging that presiding officers did not provide Form-45 to their candidates and polling agents.

“Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) wholly rejects the results of general elections due to manifest and massive irregularities. Form-45 was not given to our agents, re­­sults were stopped and votes were counted in the absence of our poll agents...,” the party chief Shahbaz Sharif tweeted on July 26.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2018