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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Delays and Suspicions: Pakistan’s Election Result Dilemma

State TV, private channels, and local media began announcing results, but progress has been slow, particularly in certain constituencies in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Despite the general elections concluding at 5 pm on Thursday, the nation awaits results well past midnight, raising suspicions among contesting parties. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has not provided any explanation for the delay.

State TV, private channels, and local media began announcing results, but progress has been slow, particularly in certain constituencies in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Read more: Clashes at PTI Rally Prompt FIR Against Party Leaders in Karachi

While results from interior Sindh are trickling in, those from Karachi, the provincial capital and largest city, are slow to emerge. Similarly, in Punjab, the country’s largest province, results are arriving at a sluggish pace. Waiting continues for results from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, prompting concerns and reservations from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Notably, in the 2018 elections, the Result Transmission System (RTS) experienced a halt overnight, delaying result transmission until the following day, leading to concerns from various political parties including the PPP and PML-N.

This time, the Election Commission of Pakistan introduced a new system, the Election Management System (EMS), instructing presiding officers to send results via mobile. However, on February 8, the mobile network shutdown for security reasons caused further delays.

Read more: Review Petition filed in SC by PTI against “Bat” Decision

ECP officials had previously indicated that results could also be sent via the internet, with presiding officers responsible for collecting and delivering results to returning officers.