ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), while responding to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) claims of changes in voting lists, clarified that “no vote can be transferred from one electoral area to another electoral area without the consent of a voter”.
The ECP spokesman said that the election commission had already provided the voter lists used in general elections-2013, as well as the ones used in by-election in NA-122, to the PTI representatives on their request.
“During 2013, there were 326,028 registered voters in NA-122 whereas during by-election in 2015 total registered voters in the constituency were 347,762 — showing increase of 21,734 votes.”
He further clarified that as far as the allegation of PTI for shifting of votes without consent of voters is concerned, “under Section 18 of Electoral Rolls Act 1974 no vote can be transferred from one electoral area to another electoral area without the consent of a voter”.
“It is mandatory to appear before the Registration Officer for such thing,” he said.
Only after the satisfaction of the concerned officer, a vote is shifted to another electoral area at the desired address and consequently it is deleted from the former place, the spokesperson said.
“As in the computerised voter list there is one CNIC one vote, so the vote has been shifted at the voter’s desired address after satisfaction of concerned Registration Officer.
“The record of votes shifted under Section-18 of the Electoral Act 1974 is available in the offices of concerned Registration Officers”.
He, however, reiterated that Election Commission of Pakistan is ready to provide any kind of relevant information to PTI for their satisfaction.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ayaz Sadiq had defeated PTI’s Aleem Khan by a close margin of around 4,000 votes during the NA-122 by-polls held on October 11, 2014.
Several complaints were filed during the NA-122 by-polls regarding the non-registration and absence of names from the voter’s list.
PTI had claimed that this addition and deletion led to the very close defeat of its candidate.
Ayaz Sadiq had been elected to the NA from the same constituency in the 2013 general election, having defeated PTI Chairman Imran Khan. But on Aug 22 this year, an election tribunal deseated Ayaz Sadiq, declaring the 2013 election in the constituency null and void, and ordered a re-election.
The decision had come following a petition by runner-up candidate Imran Khan, who had challenged the 2013 election result on grounds of rigging.
The by-poll had gathered a lot of hype not just because of the high-profile personalities involved but also because NA-122 was among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-125 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded for voters’ thumbprint verification in the hopes of determining the legitimacy of the 2013 general election.
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