Senate body orders inquiry into rigging allegations, failure of RTS


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has ordered an inquiry into allegations of rigging in the July 25 polls and the failure of the Results Transmitting System (RTS).

Senator Rehman Malik said on Wednesday that a parliamentary committee will look into the complaints regarding the failure of the RTS, adding that the new National Assembly speaker will constitute the committee to probe the allegations.

The panel further ordered all home secretaries to inquire about the ballot papers recovered from garbage after the polls.

Rehman also asked the National Database and Regulatory Authority (NADRA) to brief the panel on August 20 about the RTS failure on the election day.

In addition, Senator Chaudhry Tanvir stated that NADRA should also share the expenditure required for forensics of every single vote.

Briefing the Senate panel on the working of the RTS, election commission authorities said that the system was designed for returning officers.

Officials representing the Election Commission of Pakistan said that the ROs had to send the results on WhatsApp through RTS.

They said that the other system was the Result Management System (RMS), which was installed in the offices of the ROs. Authorities further clarified that RMS was digital, which was sending results through the internet.

The panel raised questions regarding the technical support and role of Pakistan Telecommunication Community Limited (PTCL) in the process.

NADRA and ECP were also questioned over the steps in place in case there was an incident of hacking. Senators also inquired about the budget allocated to NADRA and stressed for an investigation into how data security was compromised.

Senator Malik also highlighted as to why ballot papers were printed by private printing presses and sought media’s help to investigate the matter. He included Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority in his statement and insisted that the agreement and services available must be thoroughly investigated.