ECP hold election results,
stop media to announce details
ISLAMABAD: In the Parliamentary and political history of Pakistan for the first time, the Election Commission has withheld the announcement of the result of election and it is formally announced that the result would be announced today (Thursday)
Meanwhile, UN chief UN Secretary General Antonio has urged political leaders and society segments to maintain a “calm atmosphere” as the results of the elections are being tabulated.
“I continue to follow the situation in Pakistan closely, including the general elections that took place today,” the UN chief said in a statement e-mailed to APP.
“I am also concerned about reports of incidents of violence and casualties, and the suspension of mobile communications services,” he said.
“As Pakistan awaits the results of the elections, I encourage all political leaders and society segments to maintain a calm atmosphere, as well as refrain from the use of violence and any actions that could increase tensions.
“It is important that all candidates and supporters ensure that human rights and the rule of law are fully respected in the interest of the Pakistani people and resolve any disputes that might arise through established legal procedures. “
Nawaz Sharif prepares victory speech
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz had prepared victory speeches but they left their party’s election cell in Lahore after a delay in results, Geo News reported.
Senior journalist Raees Ansari, in a Geo News special broadcast, attributed the delay to communication disruptions caused by mobile phone and internet shutdowns.
He revealed that representatives faced strict prohibitions when approaching returning officers, hindering information flow. Despite the uncertainty, sources suggest that all results will be compiled and submitted to the Election Commission once the communication barriers are lifted.
Over 128 million electorate were supposed to poll their votes in the general election on Thursday amid a challenging law and order situation, testing the nerves of caretaker setup and the entire security apparatus.
Women form 46 percent (59.3 million) and men 54 percent (69.2 million) of the total registered voters. However, more than 56 million young voters between the age brackets of 18-25 and 26-35 years are being seen as potential factor in shaping the legislatures. The cliffhanger electoral contest will feature 28.74 million voters in the age group of 36 to 45 years.
Over 260 million ballots — half of them green and half white — have already been printed and delivered to the presiding officers by road and air to over 90,000 polling stations under a security cover provided by the police and other law-enforcement agencies.
As per the data shared by the Election Commission of Pakistan, a total of 17,816 candidates are in the run, including 12,695 for provincial assemblies and 5,121 for National Assembly seats.
They include 16,930 males, 882 females and four transgender persons. The political parties have fielded 6,031 candidates, including 5,726 males and 275 females. A record number of 11,785 independents have also in the race, including 11,174 males, 607 females and four transgender persons.
According to the Election Commission, the political parties have fielded 1,873 male and 93 female candidates for 266 general seats of the National Assembly with 3,248 independents, including 3,027 males, 2,019 females and two transgender persons in the fray.
Similarly, there are 12,695 candidates for 593 provincial assembly constituencies, including 12,123 males, 570 women and two transgender persons.
As many as 90,675 polling stations have been established across the country, out of which more than half have been declared as sensitive or most sensitive.
To ensure security of voters and polling staff, 648,000 security personnel have been deployed for poll duties, including 137,000 military and 511,000 police personnel. The commission has already issued the election code of conduct.
The counting will begin soon after the voting closes, with tentative results expected to emerge within a few hours. The Election Commission has introduced an Election Management System (EMS) for speedy tabulation of results and expects the new system will function without any problem.
During the last over five years, for the first time a prime minister had to go home after a no-trust motion. Some prominent politicians, including Imran Khan, Ch. Shujaat Hussain, Asfandyar Wali and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, are not contesting owing to different reasons.
Speculations are rife that in view of the prevailing political and electoral situation, no political party in the Centre may be able to form the government and hence a coalition setup is being predicted after the elections.
Besides the youth, independents are expected to mainly decide the shape of legislatures.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also fielded its candidates as independents. Their alignment, which according to rules, has to be made within three days after the publication of returned candidates, will be crucial and major political stakeholders will be trying to lure them for support. Of the total 336 members, 169 members can form a simple majority government.
Owing to the death of contesting candidates, election proceedings have already been terminated in four national and provincial assembly constituencies. These are NA-8 Bajaur, PK-22 Bajaur, PK-91 Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and PP-266 Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab.
In a related development, the Election Commission has taken notice of continuous running of political advertisements, statements and texts on electronic media and has directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to hold all such channels accountable and ensure adherence to Section 182 of the Elections Act 2017 and the commission’s Code of Conduct for National Media.
The commission has reminded Pemra that under Section 182 of the Elections Act, 2017 and the commission’s Code of Conduct for National Media, after 12 midnight on February 6, there is a ban on the election campaign, advertisements and other written material on electronic and print media and strict action should be taken against the channels violating this ban.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission spokesman has said the commission has suspended an officer of the Information Group Pir Suleman Shah Rashdi for violation of the code of conduct and misconduct by issuing a video message for support of a particular political party’s candidates. However, he added the officer will be able to draw his salary, allowances and other benefits during his suspension.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that the internet service would continue uninterrupted countrywide. In a statement, the Authority said there won’t be an internet shutdown on the Election Day.