Election rigging: Inquiry commission concludes proceedings, reserves verdict

Published: July 3, 2015
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: An inquiry commission probing rigging allegations in May 2013 general elections concluded its proceedings on Friday after 86 days and reserved its verdict.

A three-judge commission headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan held 39 hearings, wherein 69 witnesses were presented. The first hearing of the commission was held on April 9.

“Perhaps, the commission will give its findings before Eidul Fitr,” an official close to the commission said. The chief justice is set to retire on August 18 and it is expected that the commission will give its findings by the end of this month.

Further, top jurists namely Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, Aitzaz Ahsan and Shahid Hamid who are representing the major political parties have lauded the chief justice for conducting smooth proceedings of the commission.

Read: Probing election rigging: Commission summons caretaker CM Balochistan

ECP’s counsel Salman Akram Raja while concluding his arguments admitted before the commission that the custody of post-election material needs to be improved and the federal government as well as the Parliament should look into this affair. “ECP is facing immense shortage of funds and despite several requests the government did not raise funds,” Raja added.

Read: Probing 2013 elections: PTI questions ‘neutrality’ of election authority

Further, the chief justice questioned what the future planning of the ECP is regarding storage of post-election material. The ECP counsel replied that the commission has already asked the federal government to allocate land for building a storage for post-election material.

Earlier, The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had raised questions over the ‘neutrality’ of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) before the inquiry commission.

Read: ECP was involved in rigging 2013 general elections: Imran Khan

PTI counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada informed the three-judge commission that the ECP on every step of the way balked at providing the record of the last elections, adding that the poll authority should have made available the entire record pertaining to the elections 2013 on day one.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • A-No.1
    Jul 3, 2015 - 5:23PM

    Please don’t hold your breath. It will be as per track record.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Jul 3, 2015 - 6:34PM

    No evidence of systematic rigging could be found. Some major irregularities though, ECP directed to address that. Present ‘democratic’ system should be allowed to complete the term in the national interest.

    PTI starts moaning again and potentially go for some short face saving sit-ins only to disperse quietly. Recommend

  • raider
    Jul 3, 2015 - 7:51PM

    @Acorn Guts:
    rigging/wrong doing is done by irregularities in the normal processRecommend

  • ZOAM
    Jul 3, 2015 - 8:42PM

    The Judicial commission probing rigging allegations in last elections concluded its proceedings and reserved its verdict, perhaps to get approval from Nawaz Sharif.
    This whole commission is farce and a drama, we all know the verdict, Nawaz Sharif is not concerned about this important verdict at all as he is celebrating his victory in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jul 3, 2015 - 9:05PM

    @Acorn Guts:

    I think after the JC debacle, Niazi would quietly retire to UK for the time being for a well deserved R&R, some psychological treatment to go with beauty rehabilitation such as Botox and hair transplants. Lastly he should spend some time with his kids especially his daughter and make amends. Being away from the likes of Jahaz Tareen and Sheeda Tully would do him a world of good…..just my 2 cents though.Recommend

  • Omer Cheema
    Jul 4, 2015 - 12:52AM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    I am sure JC will be end of you guys. PTI lawyer is way confident than your frustrated lawyer :). Wait and WatchRecommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 4, 2015 - 3:11AM

    The Judicial Commission simply CANT rule against PMLN. There is simply no case and there is simply no evidence. There are three AND’s that needs to be met and none of them have been proved. This was a huge mistake from get go and never even a case. A good thing from commission will be a clear direction to Government to get its act together for future elections and reform ECP. There is nothing more to this whole saga. For Imran, I feel pity for him! He has lost his credibility, he is no longer the fresh air in politics, he has turned himself in to yet another politician with no credibility what so ever. 2018 Elections he will meet his fate similar to that of AAM guy in India. PMLN has weathered the storm real well, Nawaz Sharif fully used his political acumen to not only save his government but probably take down his rivals in the process as well. Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 4, 2015 - 7:43AM

    @Omer Cheema You need to get some basic education of common law! In any case yes lets wait and see, there is nothing for you or PTI in this!Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 4, 2015 - 7:45AM

    Hope SC does not confuse issue and give a clear verdict. Any hint of systematic rigging would be Anarchists and fake revolutionary thugs more fuel to start again their mission of destruction. .Recommend

  • raider
    Jul 4, 2015 - 8:47AM

    @H Chaudhry:
    all peoples should be thankful to imran khan who first time showed serious concerns about elections process, who knows form 14 ,form 15 else, who knows that thumb impression they imprinted were of no use but just ink mark to fill belly of the papers, if some one still believe that election process in Pakistan is fair and transparent that person is of stereotype and mentally retarded, ECP i think tired of re-election in individual constituencies due to massive rigging camouflaged under irregularities, no democracy in the world would accept results like these one submitted by ROS on 13 may 2013, ECP or any election commission must go for fresh mandate, if pmln keeps its vote bank and is popular among the masses that need not to be bothered about any reelection Recommend

  • KEMAL
    Jul 4, 2015 - 8:48AM

    The whole nation along with over seas Pakistani ‘re anxiously waiting to hear the Solomon judgement, I hope Honorable Judges will stand by their integrity. Recommend

  • raider
    Jul 4, 2015 - 9:25AM

    @H Chaudhry:
    how do you know there is nothing for pti else and all is for pmln Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 4, 2015 - 10:14AM

    @raider Yes you are correct, it is indeed a good outcome of this issue that people are more aware of election process and for sure Imran gets credit. However, he could have used a better approach that is the parliament to raise this but nonetheless you are correct on this account!
     
    Regarding your other comments, sorry but things like that have been happening since 1980s, it is not rigging but it is under paid part timers who conduct elections, its an overall deterioration of systems and policies, it is institutes falling apart for years of no growth and confusions between governments and rulers. It is constant instability that has resulted in these institutions not able to basic of jobs. None of this means that PMLN did commit organized rigging or some one else designed a plot to get PMLN In. PMLN was always going to win, every survey showed that and even at its lowest in 2002 they got close to 40 million votes. Fact is that every thing has been unearthed in commission is clearly with out any pattern. Most Form 15s are missing in Baluchistan and Sindh, or Shah Mahmood Seats, etc etc. Is that systematic rigging by PMLN? NO. PMLN won 130 plus seats and PTI lost close to 90 seats by over 50K votes or lost their deposits, is it Systematic rigging by PMLN? No. All the discussion boiled down to a skewed sample of 12 seats, can 12 seats sample biased towards one part determine systematic rigging, off course No. This is simple Census vs. Sample discussion. Regardless, if you read the Terms of References, the “AND” clause between three conditions makes it crystal clear for PTI to show systematic rigging and to show that they needed to tell who designed systematic rigging. A systematic rigging can not happen on its own, some one has to design it, some has to execute it etc. To that point 35 punctures and Ramday/Chaudhry were not even called.
     
    Regarding, PMLN vote bank, it is very well secure and there is no issue here. Case in point heavy victories in last three by elections. But general elections is not a game that you play every two years. specially when the whole issue is because of a weak institute. How and who will fix institute first, how and when the institute will have trials. A care taker Govt? NO. It is job of this Parliament and all the parties to fix ECP. Try the improvements for a fool proof 2018 elections. Further, what about consumer and investor confidence that is finally on right track, we CAN NOT afford another pause. Elections bring those pauses. For what its worth, 2018 is next election and Imran / PTI has now short three years to get their credibilty back and show some performance because Shahbaz/Nawaz are not waiting, they are marching.
     
    Regarding how do I know there is nothing for PTI, I dont! but as some one who has good understanding of proceedings and common law, I strongly dobt there is any thing for PTI here other than some face saving on “mismanagement”. The commission cant simply rule in PTI favor given the evidence or it will set up a very dangerous precedence which Judges never like. We will see how it goes but I have a strong feeling there is nothing good for PTI coming out of this.

    ET-Please publish.Recommend

  • AA
    Jul 4, 2015 - 11:27AM

    @H Chaudhry:
    So more than 100% registered votes is an irregularity of the staff who did not keep the count that was given to them ?Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 4, 2015 - 1:15PM

    @AA Yes precisely just like they didnt keep track of extra ballots in MQM won seats on Shah Mahmood won seats etc etc. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jul 4, 2015 - 1:32PM

    @H Chaudhry:

    Brother, your dissertation and an attempt to reason with an average fanboy is an exercise in futility. It’s like a blind trying to lead dumb and mute. Leave em’ alone cause that have resigned to the prospect of worshiping a deity like a mindless and blind disciple.Recommend

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