ISLAMABAD: As expec­ted, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to meet the legal deadline for uploading key result-related documents on its website on Thursday.

Moreover, it seems unlikely that the process will be completed any time soon, with a senior ECP official claiming that uploading over 90,000 Forms 45s on its website would be a time-consuming exercise.

However, the official said that the constitutional requirement under Article 224(2) for the declaration of election results had been met and results for all national and provincial assembly constituencies, except those where the result has been stayed by the courts, had been announced and published in the official gazette.

The official did not even hint towards a timeframe for the fulfilment of this legal requirement under section 95 of the Elections Act, nor did he specify if the condition was being ignored altogether.

Referring to over 300 cases, remanded to the ECP by the high courts, wherein variance between Form 45s and 47s have been alleged, the official said that there were several cases where two parties were in possession of Form 45s that were quite different from each other, making it difficult to judge which was genuine, adding that the authentication process may take over a month.

The commission is also expected to get a briefing from its law wing today (Friday) on the question of whether the Sunni Ittehad Council, which now contains nearly all PTI-backed independents in the National Assembly, will be granted reserved seats in the lower house of parliament.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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