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Monday February 26, 2024

Seeking vote recount PTI’s legal right

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has exercised its legal right by seeking vote recount in the National Assembly constituency NA-122 Lahore where by-election was held on Sunday.The job of the Returning Officer (RO) came to an end after he consolidated the result and forwarded it to the Election Commission of

October 15, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has exercised its legal right by seeking vote recount in the National Assembly constituency NA-122 Lahore where by-election was held on Sunday.
The job of the Returning Officer (RO) came to an end after he consolidated the result and forwarded it to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for issuance of a notification.Under the Representation of People’s Act (ROPA), the ECP is now empowered to order vote recount and may assign it to any official.
PTI’s defeated candidate Aleem Khan, who has requested recount and approached the district returning officer for the purpose, hopes that the result may be reversed in re-checking.However, the outcome may be overturned in electoral contests where the margin of defeat or victory is extremely narrow. In the instant case, it doesn’t seem happening because Ayaz Sadiq was ahead of Aleem Khan with 2,443 votes.
In NA-122, as many as 1,858 votes were rejected. Of the 347,762 total registered electorates, 149,885 voters exercised their right. Out of them, 148,027 ballots were found valid.In NA-144 Okara, the number of rejected votes, 4,230, was very high. The constituency had a total of 173,951 votes. As many as 157,459 ballots were validly cast.
Compared to NA-122 Lahore, the number of rejected votes, 1,065, was low in Punjab Assembly constituency, PP-147, for the obvious reason that the total voters were far less than those of the national seat. Here the total voters stood at 140,767. Of them, 62,534 voters exercised their right with 61,469 ballots having become valid.
According to the ROPA, the RO may recount the ballot papers upon the request of, or challenge in writing made by, a contesting candidate or his election agent, if he is satisfied that the request or the challenge is reasonable; or if so directed by the ECP, in which case the recount will be held in such manner and at such place as may be directed by the ECP.
Before that, the RO will give the

contesting candidates and their agents a notice in writing of the day, time and place fixed for the consolidation of the results, and in their presence combine the result in the prescribed manner, as per the information furnished by the Presiding Officers (POs), including the postal ballots received by him before that time.
The consolidation proceedings will be held without any avoidable delay as soon as possible after the polling day. Before consolidating the results of the count, the RO will examine the ballot papers excluded from the count by the PO and, if he finds that any such ballot paper should not have been so excluded, count it as a ballot cast in favour of the contesting candidate for whom the vote has been cast.
After consolidation of results the RO will give to such contesting candidates and their election agents as are present during the consolidation proceedings, a copy of the result notified to the ECP immediately against proper receipt and will also post a copy to the other candidates and election agents.
The RO will also count the ballot papers received by him by post in such manner as may be prescribed and include the votes cast in favour of each contesting candidate in the consolidated statement except those which he may reject for being invalid. The ballot papers rejected by the RO will be shown separately in the consolidated statement.
After the close of the poll each PO will, in the presence of the candidates or their authorized representatives as may desire to be present, open and empty the ballot boxes and examine the ballot papers therein, rejecting any which are invalid, count the number of votes recorded for each candidate on the valid ballot papers, and communicate the number of the votes so recorded to the Chief Election Commissioner.