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KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday uploaded all forms containing key data of the July 25 general election results on its website, the same day opposition parties held a protest demonstration outside its office in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the polling process.

A day ago, the Commission had notified the final results of the general election but withheld results of nine national and 17 provincial assembly seats for various reasons, stirring a new controversy before the formation of the next government.

Election day itself was marred by controversies as a number of political parties had cried foul that their political agents were not issued Form-45 ‘Result of the Count’, implying possible attempts at rigging.

The delay in announcement of results had irked losing candidates as the ECP announced failure of the result transmission system (RTS) on the election night, casting further doubt on the transparency of electoral process.

According to Section 95 (8) of the Elections Act 2017, “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.”

As per Section 95 (10), the ECP is required to place within 14 days from polling day the documents received from Returning Officers on its website.

Two weeks after polling day, the ECP on Wednesday uploaded all the required documents pertaining to the election results.

Available on the ECP’s website, the Form-45 — previously Form-14 — contains essential data of each polling station of a constituency of the national or provincial assemblies.

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 also contains a list of names of contesting candidates, the number of valid votes polled in favour of each candidate, the number of valid tendered votes polled in favour of each candidate and the number of valid challenged votes polled in favour of each candidate and total number of valid votes polled in favour of each candidate as well as the number of votes excluded from the count.

The second form prepared by the Presiding Officers and uploaded on the website is Form-46 ‘Ballot Paper Account’ showing the number of ballot papers received, un-issued, taken out of the ballot boxes, tendered, challenged and spoilt.

The data also includes Form-47 ‘Provisional Consolidated Statement of Results’ which is the provisional consolidated statement of results of the count (excluding postal ballots) of the constituency, as required under Section 92 of the law.

Province-wise Forms-48 and -49 are available on the website as well. Form-48 ‘Consolidated Statement of Results of the Count’ is furnished by the Presiding Officers and contains details about the votes polled per polling station of a constituency. Form-49 ‘Final Consolidated Results’ shows the name of contesting candidates, their party affiliation if any, and the number of votes received.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2018