ECP should allow Senate to probe into RTS malfunction, says Raza Rabbani


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Raza Rabbani on Friday demanded that the Senate should be allowed to probe into the Results Transmission System (RTS) malfunctioning during the July 25, which caused the delay in announcement of election results.

In a statement to the media, Rabbani lashed out at the electoral body and said, “We reject the ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob’s letter to constitute a probe committee.”

Moreover, Raza stated that “formation of a committee to probe into the failure of the RTS system is a mere sham. The terms of reference (TORs) to form the committee are ambiguous and they ignore the main issue.”

The PPP leader noted that “the TORs of the committee did not mention the statement of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that had said the system was functional”.

It was further noted that the General Election 2018 had fallen prey to pre-poll rigging.

“The collapse of RTS has raised questions on the entire election,” Raza said, adding, that “the failure of RTS has given way to political instability at the centre.”

“We demand that the Senate be allowed to investigate the matter,” he asserted.

It was reported that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had blamed the RTS collapse for the unusual delay in the results.

On Thursday, ECP asked the Cabinet Division to constitute a committee to probe the malfunction of the software that was transmitting election results. The electoral body asked for technical representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board to be included in the committee.

The commission further recommended that the committee should present a report on the matter within a month.

The committee had been asked to analyse the RTS project, the “concept of RTS in terms of its implementability”, its preparation and finalisation by NADRA, the quality and extent of training imparted to its users, the “train of events taking place on the night of July 25 and thereafter”, fix responsibility [for any malfunction] and make recommendations for future, according to the terms of reference decided by the commission, read a letter written to the Cabinet Division secretary.

The controversy around the RTS, a mobile application created by NADRA and employed by the ECP to relay results [Form 45s] from polling stations to the commission, had begun when ECP secretary claimed late into July 25 that the system had ‘malfunctioned’.

On July 26, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob had said that the delay has not been caused by any ‘wicked conspiracy’ or pressure. He had stated that the poll results had been delayed due to the result transmission system malfunction while data was being entered into it.