close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
December 7, 2018

Fafen report endorses The News story about unsigned Form-45

Top Story

December 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) has endorsed The News story published some four months ago that more than 90 percent Form-45 do not bear the signatures of the polling agents.

According to Fafen report released the other day, 95 percent of the total 78,467 Form-45 of 249 constituencies of the National Assembly are not signed by the polling agents of political parties and candidates. Not just the Fafen, even the European Union Observer Mission also raised serious questions on the process of counting, transmission and tabulation of Pakistan’s general elections 2018 results.

The News published a story “More than 90pc Form-45 not signed by polling agents” on August 12, 2018 after examining Form-45 of around 12,000 polling stations across the country. During the audit of these forms it was found that more than 90 percent Form-45 were not signed by the political parties’ polling agents.

According to The News story, around 12,000 Form-45 of different polling stations from across the country were examined to determine whether the vote count forms have been signed by the polling agents or not. In order to examine the data of Form-45, The News randomly selected sample data of 110 National Assembly constituencies and examined around 12,000 polling stations’ results. During the examination of this data, it was found that not even a single constituency has 10 percent signed Form-45 of the total polling stations. During the examination of these Form-45 a unified pattern of unsigned Form-45 was found. The signatures of the political parties’ polling agents are mandatory as per the Elections Act 2017. The Section 90 (12) of the Elections Act 2017 says, “The Presiding Officer, after preparation of the result of the count and the ballot paper account, shall sign them and obtain thereon the signatures of the senior-most Assistant Presiding Officer and an accredited observer, a candidate or his election agent or polling agents as may be present in token of the said documents having been prepared in their presence and if any such person refuses to sign it, the Presiding Officer shall record a note on the result of the count and the ballot paper account to that effect”. However, despite that the presiding officer did not get the signatures of polling agents on more than 90 percent of the total Form-45. The constitutional experts like Abid Hassan Minto, Pildat’s head Ahmed Bilal Mehboob and former secretary Election Commission Kanwar Dilshad had termed this exercise a major irregularity of general elections 2018.

According to Ahmed Bilal Mehboob if true this needs to be investigated by a Commission and the ECP must be held accountable for this major failure. Even, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) in its final report had raised serious question on the process of counting, transmission and tabulation of Pakistan’s general elections 2018 results. The EUEOM which unveiled its final report on Pakistan’s general elections 2018 in October, had raised some serious questions on the transparency of the polls and ECP’s performance. “The whole process lacked transparency leaving room for allegations of electoral malpractices”, observes the Mission in its report.

As per report, the EUEOM encountered significant challenges and difficulties before and during its deployment to Pakistan for the July 25 elections. The European Union had previously deployed election observation missions to Pakistan, in 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2013, but did not face the problems that in 2018 substantially affected EUEOM standard modus operandi.

The News had contacted the ECP spokesperson who had admitted that many Form-45 have not been signed by the polling agents, according to him it was not a requirement of the Form-45 as there was no space for polling agent’s signature. However, the Section 90 (12) of the Elections Act 2017 clearly says that the presiding officer shall obtain signatures of the polling agent on the form.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus