ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) responded to the allegations levelled by PTI chief Imran Khan regarding the printing of extra ballot papers during general elections of 2013 by Punjab’s provincial election commissioner Mehboob Anwar.
According to a press release, the decision to print ballot papers for the elections was taken by the ECP at a meeting held with the Printing Corporation of Pakistan Press and Pakistan Security Printing Corporation in September 2012. It was agreed that 180 million tentative ballot papers would be printed.
Imran alleged that extra ballot papers were printed and distributed in five divisions of Punjab on May 9. Interestingly, ballot papers had already been distributed to the ROs by then who had prepared the sealed bags for the polls. As a result, the ECP claims that it would have been practically impossible to print and distribute extra ballot papers.
The exact number of ballot papers printed for each constituency is communicated to the provincial election commissioners by the returning officers. The decision is made according to the number of voters in each constituency. The election commissioner sends this number to the printing presses.
Anwar rebutted the charges levelled by the PTI chief.
“The allegations are completely baseless, frivolous and without any substance,” he said. “I can vouch for the fact that not even a single ballot paper was printed from any private printing press.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th,2014.
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