FAFEN observes improvement in quality of election result

Network says provisional results for the constituencies were finalised by 2:00 am deadlines

Irfan Ghauri October 17, 2018
Network says provisional results for the constituencies were finalised by 2:00 am deadlines. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has observed significant improvement in the quality of the election result management process during the October 14 low-turnout by-elections.

A press release issued by FAFEN on Tuesday stated that the by-election remained peaceful. It said there was a considerable decline in the turnout as compared to the July 25 general elections.

FAFEN said the transparency and efficiency of vote counting at the polling stations and tabulation of the provisional results by the returning officers improved the overall credibility of the electoral process.

The network said with the exception of PB-40 (Khuzdar-III), the provisional results for the constituencies was finalised by 2:00 am deadlines as stipulated by Section 13 (3) of the Elections Act, 2017.

FAFEN deployed 1,737 Election-Day observers—1,296 men and 441 women—who observed the voting and counting processes at 4,038 polling stations in 11 National Assembly and 27 Provincial Assembly constituencies.

Elections in PP-296 (Rajanpur-IV) and PP- 87 (Mianwali-III) were uncontested.

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Nearly 54 per cent less women and 44 per cent less men turned out to cast their vote for National Assembly constituencies during the by-elections in comparison with the 2018 general election.  However, the women’s turnout remained above the legal threshold of 10 per cent in all the constituencies.

A total of 374 candidates ran for 35 constituencies out of which 139 candidates represented 27 political parties and the remaining 235 contested these elections independently.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had set up 7,489 polling stations comprising 21,783 polling booths for 9,283,074 registered voters in the 35 constituencies.

The right of voters to secrecy of the ballot was breached at 146 polling stations where the polling staff did not stop unauthorised persons from accompanying them behind secrecy screens. At 848 polling booths, secrecy screens were set up in a way that voters could be seen marking their ballots.

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As many as 95 per cent of the presiding officers interviewed by FAFEN observers said they were trained by ECP and had the required understanding of using the Results Transmission System (RTS).

As many as 95 per cent presiding officers interviewed were able to successfully transmit the results through the RTS. FAFEN observers reported a total of 27 incidents of violence albeit minor inside and outside polling stations.


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