ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada on Monday alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) remained non-cooperative and did not produce documents which the PTI intended to present as evidence before the judicial commission.
A three-member judicial commission investigating rigging allegations in the 2013 general elections presided over the hearing. Presenting his arguments before the commission, Pirzada said that the stamped ballot papers exhibited before the commission point towards wrongdoing.
He argued that the ECP left Forms XV in possession of Returning Officers, which is not permissible under the rules. Pirzada also added that barring a few constituencies, Forms XV of the remaining polling stations were incomplete or missing.
He pointed out that the number of registered voters in Sindh and Balochistan decreased in 2013 elections compared to 2008 polls.
Chief Justice Nasir ul Mulk said that it could be possible as ECP verified the voters list and removed bogus entries in this regard.
The PTI counsel pointed out the election process and the polling in Balochistan was marred by broken seals of election bags, zero per cent vote casting and missing Forms XV.
The PTI’s response in court today appears to be directed to a statement made by the ECP a day earlier. The poll body had said opposition parties, including the PTI, have failed to provide any evidence regarding “systematic and planned rigging” in the 2013 general elections and declared that the results of the polls were a “true reflection” of the people’s mandate.
“The general elections 2013 were not manipulated or influenced pursuant to a systematic effort or design by anyone. The results of the general elections of 2013 on an overall basis are a true and fair reflection of the mandate given by the electorates,” the ECP had said in a 33-page response submitted to the poll inquiry commission headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk.
“The mere possibility of wrongdoing is not even circumstantial evidence of actual wrongdoing,” the ECP had maintained in its response submitted through its counsel Salman Akram Raja. However, it does admit to administrative lapses by election staff.
Furthermore, the ECP had previously contended that Forms XV for 60,634 polling stations, of a total of 69,763 polling stations, were available. “The deficiency in the available record of Forms XV may, however, be placed in the context of the fact that Forms XV are nearly all available despite the lapse of two years. No evidence has been produced to suggest that there was any deliberate scheme either to not generate Forms XV on polling day or to remove Forms XV from the record. The fact that some record is not available now does not necessarily imply that it was never generated.”
Regarding the unsealed polling bags, the ECP had said: “No evidence has come before the inquiry commission as to whether the polling bags concerned were not sealed by the POs or whether the seals got broken or removed later, possible during transportation and placement in the treasuries”.
Sep 28, 2016 0
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