Rigging charges: ECP probe body records statements of DROs, ROs

Rawalpindi division DROs and ROs denied the allegations of facing pressure and rigging in their statements

By Our Correspondent
February 21, 2024
A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on September 21, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s inquiry committee, while continuing its work for the second day on Tuesday, recorded statements of district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs) in the backdrop of allegations made by the ex-Rawalpindi commissioner.


It was learnt from sources privy to the committee that the Rawalpindi division DROs and ROs denied the allegations of facing pressure and rigging in their statements.

Sources said that electoral process was carried out in a peaceful, clean and transparent manner in all the constituencies. This is in total negation of the allegations made by the former commissioner in his recent media talk.

On the demand of the committee, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has also given the transcript of Chattha’s news conference to the ECP. The committee has been given three days to furnish its report in relation to the allegations of rigging and changing of results.

Meanwhile, after the returned independent candidates backed by PTI announced their decision to join the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), the council has submitted the affidavits of more independent candidates to the ECP, while the party has also submitted certificates of more successful independent members to the commission.

The PTI submitted certificates of 30 independent members, taking the tally of independent returned candidates who submitted certificates to 80.

SIC chief Sahibzada Hamid Raza, who himself got elected as an independent candidate from NA-104 backed by PTI, submitted affidavits of 32 more independent candidates of the National Assembly, taking the total number of certificates submitted to 82. He has said that affidavits of more MNAs-elect will also be submitted as well as affidavits of successful independent candidates of provincial assemblies.

The SIC has also written a letter to the ECP for allotment of the reserved seats. Through the letter, it requested that the SIC be allotted reserved seats for women and the non-Muslims. Hamid Raza told the media that the ECP would be asked for reserved seats in a phased manner, as the commission has released the final results of independent candidates in installments, due to which there is now a difference in the time of three days of each candidate.

Meanwhile, the ECP issued a notice to Nawaz Sharif, the winning candidate from NA-130 Lahore, and sought a report from the RO concerned. The ECP bench heard her petition where the forum was informed that according to the results of 334 polling stations out of 376, Yasmin Rashid claimed to be winning with a lead of 20,000 votes, then the policemen came at night and the returning officer was changed, and the agents were expelled too. From the remaining 33 polling stations, her rival polled maximum votes and surpassed her votes. The hearing was adjourned till February 27.