ISLAMABAD: It seems the controversy over discrepancies between forms 45 and 47 refuses to die as a new audit has found that the declared winners on all three National Assembly constituencies from the federal capital had actually secured less votes compared to the ‘runners-up’.

Revealing the findings, Pattan-Coalition38, which conducted a detailed audit of the Islamabad Capital Territory National Assembly constituencies involving collection of forms 45 from the candidates and comparing them with forms 47, said they were able to verify the results of 298 (87pc) out of 342 polling stations in NA-46 Islamabad-1.

“As per our tabulation of results, PTI-backed independent candidate Amir Masood received 75,608 votes, followed by PML-N’s Anjum Aqeel Khan with 38,607 votes. However, as per Form 47 uploaded on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) website, the PML-N candidate was declared the winner with 81,958 votes against 44,317 of the PTI-backed candidate. This is a reversal from the results verified by us of over 76,000 votes,” the audit said.

It further said that on review of forms 45 collected by us against the ECP-uploaded Form 45 on its website, we found differences in the two documents in more than 200 polling stations out of 342.

In most cases, it points out that the votes received by the PTI candidate were shown in the PML-N candidate’s column on ECP’s documents and vice versa.

For NA-47 Islamabad-2, the results of 379 (97pc) out of 387 polling stations were verified.

As per Pattan’s tabulation of results, PTI-backed independent candidate Shoaib Shaheen received 101,061 votes, followed by PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry with 49,528 votes.

However, as per Form 47 issued on the ECP website, the PML-N candidate was declared the winner with 101,397 votes against 86,794 of the PTI-backed candidate.

“This is a reversal from the results verified by us of over 66,000 votes. Further, on review of forms 45 collected by us against the ECP uploaded forms 45 on their website, we found at least 198 polling stations out of 387 where there were differences in the two documents,” it said.

Citing an example the audit says that in polling station 384, the PML-N candidate’s total vote was changed from 181 to 1,181 — an increase of 1,000 votes. In NA-48 Islamabad-3, the results of 234 (90pc) out of 261 polling stations had been verified.

According to Pattan’s tabulation of results, PTI-backed independent candidate Syed Mohammad Ali Bukhari received 70,318 votes, followed by independent Raja Khurram Shahzad, who later joined PML-N with 26,874 votes.

However, as per Form 47 issued on the ECP website, the independent candidate was declared the winner with 69,699 votes against 59,851 for the PTI-backed candidate.

“This is a reversal from the results verified by us of over 53,000 votes. Further, on review of forms 45 collected by us against the ECP uploaded forms 45 on their website, we found that out of 261 polling stations, at least 91 had differences in the two documents.

For example, in polling station 94, the PML-N candidate’s total vote was changed from 92 to 1,092, an increase of 1,000 votes, the audit said, adding that it found clear evidence of manipulation of results in favour of PML-N candidates in all the three constituencies.

“Our audit clearly establishes that the announced winners had obtained less votes than the runners up,” Pattan claimed.

It said the audit process involved collection of the polling station level results (Form 45) — which were completed inside every polling station on the election day — from candidates, tabulating the results of all available forms 45 of each of the three constituencies to determine the share of votes received by the candidates, comparing totals of polling station results with Form 47 issued by the ECP on its website, which is a tabulation of the polling station results and comparing the results of forms 45 collected in the days following the Feb 8 general election, with forms 45 uploaded on the google drive of Election Commission of Pakistan on March 6 to highlight any anomalies or differences on specific polling stations.

“We received approximately 87pc, 97pc and 90pc forms 45 for NA-46, 47, and 48 respectively, which gives us high confidence in our findings due to the large gap between candidates votes,” the Pattan-Coalition38 said, urging the ECP and courts to complete the election-related cases on priority basis.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2024

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