ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Arif Alvi expressed his frustration on Saturday over the postponed election results and stated that if the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had been in use during the general elections on February 8, the nation would not be facing this current crisis, Geo News reported. Despite the commission’s lofty claims, the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) new Election Management System (EMS) failed, he said.
Notably, the election regulator has yet to release the preliminary results for every constituency, nearly seventy-two hours after the polls closed. In a post on social media platform X, President Alvi said: “Had EVMs been there today, my dear beloved Pakistan would have been spared this crisis.” President Alvi recalled the fight for the EVMs waged by the previous PTI-led government, saying that the entire endeavour–which involved more than 50 meetings at the presidency alone–was abandoned.
“Remember ‘our’ long struggle for EVMs. EVM had paper ballots that could be counted separately by hand (like it is being done today) but it also had a simple electronic calculator/counter of each vote button pressed,” he said. The president, according to Geo News, said that the totals of every candidate would have been available and printed within five minutes of the closing of the poll if the machines were used.
On February 10, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) staged a protest over alleged rigging and alteration of results in Sindh’s PS-22 constituency. “Our [JUI-F’s] candidate was made to lose via [deliberate] change of results,” JUI-F leader Rashid Mehmood Soomro said. “We have won by [margin of] 7,000 votes as per the Form 45s in our possession,” he said while calling for fresh elections in multiple constituencies, according to Geo News.
Amid the delay in the publication of Pakistan’s election results, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has given a call for a nationwide protest on Sunday to protect the sanctity of the vote as independent candidates are in the lead with 100 seats. According to the report, the decision comes after the party’s core committee meeting was held and it was announced to hold ‘peaceful protests’ across the country to protect the sanctity of the vote. The meeting also deliberated on election results and the future course of action.
The core committee also discussed matters related to affiliation with specific political parties. Important decisions were made during the meeting, which the party said would be implemented after consultation with PTI founder Imran Khan.
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