FAFEN urges ECP to take notice of non-compliance of law by ROs

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ISLAMABAD: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) revealed that Returning Officers (ROs) in 135 constituencies did not meet all the legal requirements, urging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of non-compliance of the law by them.

In its report on the General Elections 2024, the FAFEN maintained that Section 92 of the Elections Act, 2017 bounds the ROs to prepare Form-47 in the presence of contesting candidates, their election agents, and authorised observers.

Similarly, Section 95(1) requires the ROs to conduct the consolidation of the results in the presence of the contesting candidates and their election agents.

The report said that ROs in 135 National Assembly constituencies did not adhere to these provisions, undermining the ECP s efforts to maximize electoral transparency, which was generally maintained during the voting and counting processes at the polling stations.

The Returning Officers did not allow FAFEN observers in 135 constituencies to observe the tabulation process –– 80 in Punjab, 23 in Sindh, 18 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 in Balochistan and all three in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The FAFEN in its report maintained that out of these 135 constituencies, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independents won 46, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) 43, Pakistan People s Party (PPP) 28, unaffiliated independents five and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) won three.

Out of these 135 constituencies, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) won two each and one each by Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM). The provisional result of one such constituency is yet to be announced.

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