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Sunday, May 19, 2024

FAFEN demands ‘independent’ audit of results: Proposed 3 stages

Controversies and disputes have arisen due to discrepancies in the handling of election documentation, particularly Forms 45.

Amidst escalating controversy surrounding discrepancies between forms 45 and 47, coupled with allegations of widespread electoral fraud, a prominent election monitoring group is advocating for an impartial audit of the election results. The Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) has outlined a comprehensive three-step approach for scrutinizing the outcomes of the recent general elections.

In a press release, Fafen has implored the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to meticulously review the results of contested constituencies using advanced data analytics and forensic techniques to validate the integrity of the electoral process. Stressing the importance of transparency and credibility, Fafen emphasizes the inclusion of representatives from concerned political parties alongside independent observers in the audit process.

The urgency of the post-election scenario necessitates a swift response from the ECP to investigate claims of electoral malpractice and ensure that the election results accurately reflect the electorate’s will. Fafen’s proposed audit methodology entails three distinct phases.

Three stages of audit 

The initial phase focuses on evaluating the authenticity and accuracy of election documentation, including result forms, and assessing the consistency of information provided. Subsequently, the second stage involves identifying the potential impact of unverified forms on the election outcome and implementing corrective measures accordingly. Finally, the third stage entails holding election officials accountable for any omissions or commissions during the electoral process.

Fafen highlights the critical role played by approximately 1.5 million election and polling officials in overseeing election operations, including result tabulation and consolidation. However, controversies and disputes have arisen due to discrepancies in the handling of election documentation, particularly Forms 45.

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To address these issues, Fafen urges the ECP to clarify the legality of multiple copies of Forms 45 generated on polling day and encourage prompt filing of complaints regarding electoral irregularities. Additionally, Fafen underscores the need for clarity in determining the legal status of different copies of Forms 45 in cases of discrepancies.

Overall, Fafen’s proposed audit represents a technical inquiry based on tangible evidence, utilizing official election documentation as prescribed by the Elections Act, 2017.