Senator surprised over FAFEN’s report on electoral rigging

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Central Election Cell In-charge Senator Taj Haider, commenting on the report of FAFEN released on November 30, expressed surprise over the omission of the main electoral rigging issue of signatures of polling agents on Forms 45.

He said that the omission was all the more shocking since in the audit and analysis methodology designed by FAFEN (check No 10) on Form 45 was put as “Each Form 45 must carry the signatures of polling agents.”

Senator Taj Haider said that the signatures of polling agents were mandatory on Forms 45 (the result of the count) and Forms 46 (ballot paper account) under Sections 90 (12) and 90(16) of the Election Act 2017. These sections further make it mandatory that if any polling agent refuses to sign these two forms, the reasons thereof have to be recorded by the presiding officer (PO). FAFEN in their most professionally prepared audit methodology had provided these checks on both forms.

The PPP leader said that while all the other checks and counter checks that did not affect the results have been most laboriously recorded in the report, the ones that do bring out the massive rigging and are the most obvious and simplest checks have been completely ignored. This kind of omission can only be on purpose, he added.

The senator also said that the FAFEN report appeared to be yet another attempt like the hue and cry raised on the propagated failure of the RTS. Attempts to blow up the irrelevant issues out of proportion in order to cover up the crucial and decisive wrongs could never sustain the test of time.

The in charge of the PPP’s election cell hoped that FAFEN was not subjected to pressures similar to those brought on media. He was certain that a count of Forms 45 not carrying the signatures of polling agents had been made by FAFEN and the figures of what percentage of the Forms 45 did not have signatures of polling agents will be brought out.