The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) raised serious concerns about the integrity and credibility of the Feb 8 elections, citing a range of issues that have cast a shadow over the democratic process.

In a report released yesterday, the HRCP urged an independent audit of Feb 8 general elections under the supervision of a parliamentary body.

According to HRCP’s election observers, who conducted spot-checks in 51 constituencies, the nationwide shutdown of internet and cellular services on polling day, coupled with arbitrary changes in polling information, hindered voters’ access to polling stations.

“This was particularly true for women with restricted mobility, persons living with disabilities, the elderly, and low-income voters. Of particular concern is the protracted delay in announcement of election results by the returning officers,” said the report.

While the polling process itself was generally transparent and pea­ceful, the post-polling procedures raised significant concerns, it said.

Read full report here.

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