The PML-N on Wednesday submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly seeking an inquiry into the failure of the Election Commission of Pakistan's Results Transmission System (RTS) on election night.
“The sudden failure of the RTS system is synonymous with rigging,” the resolution stated, reiterating the party's position on the issue.
The RTS refers to a mobile application created by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and employed by the ECP to relay results (specifically, copies of Form 45s) from polling stations to the commission on July 25.
Following the elections, a controversy had arisen when the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) claimed that the system had 'malfunctioned', leading to inordinate delays in the compilation and announcement of results.
In the resolution, submitted by PLM-N parliamentarian Hina Pervaiz Butt, the PML-N has demanded that a parliamentary commission be created to investigate the failure of the RTS system and other allegations of rigging.
The resolution asks that a report be presented with the findings of this investigation within a month.
The ECP had previously directed the Cabinet Division to form an inquiry committee to investigate the causes of the failure of the RTS during the elections.
However, the PML-N and PPP both had called the proposed inquiry commission a mere eyewash, claiming that its terms of reference (ToR) were vague and fell short of addressing the core issue: did the system really crash or not.
“It has never happened in the history of Pakistan that election results were received three days later,” the PML-N's resolution notes.
According to the resolution, considerable evidence of anomalies in the election process have come forward.
The resolution states that polling agents were asked to leave before counting of ballots took place and many polling agents were not given copies of Form 45.
The resolution also notes that other than one specific party, all parties had "rejected" the outcome of the elections.
The opposition parties had formed an 11-party grand opposition alliance, named ‘Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections’.
On August 8, the parties had held a protest demonstration outside the ECP's offices in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the July 25 general elections.
The leaders of the key parties of the alliance, however, had been conspicuous in their absence.
ECP says laws present to deal with allegations of rigging
Meanwhile, the ECP has issued a brief statement following President Mamnoon Hussain's instructions that it satisfy the nation with regards to allegations of rigging in the elections.
"In this respect, the ECP wishes to clarify that the country's laws specify all procedures to be taken in case doubts arise regarding the transparency of the voting process.
"In case there are suspicions, a petition can be filed with the Election Commission and Election tribunals. These petitions will be decided under the relevant laws and evidence in the best possible way," it has promised.