Tuesday, May 14, 2013

President Zardari directs party leaders to overview reasons of party's defeat

President Asif Ali Zardari, while issuing directives to overview reasons of party’s defeat in the general elections has asked party leaders to recommend suggestions for future planning. He expressed these views in a meeting with Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and president PPP Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah here at Bilawal House on Tuesday. It was decided that Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) would play the role of opposition in federal and provincial assemblies. Reliable sources said that the President expressed apprehensions over party defeat in the general elections. Moreover, Zardari directed party leaders to highlight public issues in both houses of the parliament as PPP holds representation across the country despite defeat, the sources added. Sources said that the meeting built consensus that the PPP would form government in Sindh in collaboration with Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM).

ANP to chalk out future game plan on 16th

After reviewing the causes of its poor election results and chalking out a future plan of action, the Awami National Party will issue new guidelines on May 16, the party’s provincial office-bearers said in a meeting on Sunday. A meeting of ANP Sindh’s think tank was convened at the party’s provincial headquarters, the Mardan House, to review the post-election situation. ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed chaired the meeting that was attended by all district presidents and secretaries of the nationalist party. The participants of the meeting said though the party had reservations over how it was kept away from conducting election campaigns as well as over the election results, the ANP had accepted its defeat. They expressed concern over non-issuance of poll results of Karachi’s constituencies. ANP East District President Younus Buneri said the party’s think tank had also taken notice of independent reports of rigging during polling in the city. The members said that it was shocking that the majority of the voters claimed of rigging during the voting process, but the Election Commission of Pakistan has yet to take the issue seriously. They said the ANP Sindh had fielded a number of candidates for the national and provincial assembly seats, and the party was likely to win PA seats from Keamari, SITE and Landhi, but they were still unaware of the situation in those areas. Buneri said: “We have decided to raise the issue in the party’s central committee meeting to be held in Islamabad on Monday (today). We want to know why the election results from Karachi have not been released by the ECP. If there are technical reasons for the delay, then we have the right to know.” In response to a question, he said the ANP had congratulated those who won in the elections, and hoped that they would deliver on their promises made during their election campaigns. Members of the party’s think tank said: “ANP was not allowed to conduct their election campaigns anywhere in the country, which was one of the main reasons of its failure in the polls.” Similar meetings were held in all provinces of the country, where reports were submitted to the central leadership who would review and discuss them during the meeting in Islamabad. The likelihood of demanding re-election was also discussed in the meeting, but the demand would be made only if the party leadership deems it fit.

Bilawal Bhutto: ECP should take notice of rigging complaints

The Express Tribune
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the rigging that took place during the general elections, Express News reported. “PPP will stay clear of any conflict,” he said, while addressing party workers through a video conference. According to official results, PPP has bagged 63 seats in Sindh. However, it aims to bring the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on board to form a coalition government in the province. Earlier, despite winning a simple majority in Sindh in the elections of 1991, 1997 and 2002, the PPP had not been able to form a government because other parties had struck deals between them, fostering ‘pockets of influence’ and thwarting PPP’s right. However, as the 18th Amendment stipulates that only the party winning a simple majority can form a provincial government, the PPP will be able to form a government this time round.

FAFEN report: Over 100% turnout in 49 polling stations

The Express Tribune
many anomalies on Election Day, there is one that stands out: There was more than 100% voter turnout in many polling stations for national and provincial constituencies across the country, according to the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). The election watchdog called upon the ECP to release all polling statements of count (Form XIV) to the public on its website before certifying final results in any constituency. Data gathered by FAFEN observers at polling stations showed impossible voter turnout greater than 100% in many polling stations. According to the FAFEN report, the voter turnout was more than 100% in at least 49 polling stations out of 8,119 polling stations sampled by FAFEN across Pakistan, according to statements of the count delivered so far by observers. FAFEN advised ECP not to include votes from these polling stations in calculations of constituency election results, and advised them to consider re-polling in these stations. Of these 49 polling stations, at least 32 were in Punjab, 10 in Sindh, six in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and one in Balochistan. The polling stations with impossible voter turnout figures included 19 female polling stations, 16 male stations and 14 combined (male and female) stations. Voter turnout is calculated on the basis of registered voters for each polling station as given on the ECP website. Polling stations included in the analysis are only those in which presiding officers accurately calculated the total number of ballots as recorded on the statement of the count (Form XIV). FAFEN has recommended since 2008 that the ECP should not consider the results from any polling station where more ballots are cast than the number of registered voters, and should investigate highly improbable cases of voter turnout, such as those greater than 80%. The network further stated that the best practice for election transparency requires that polling station ballot counts and vote counts should be posted as quickly as possible on the ECP website, both as scans of the original forms and in data tables that can be scrutinised. This information was made public by the ECP for the first time many months after the 2008 elections, based on persistent FAFEN advocacy.

Imran alleges rigging; demands recounting

Daily Times
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday alleged rigging in the elections and demanded recounting of votes on 25 seats of National Assembly in Punjab, a private news channel reported. “Whatever result comes after the recounting will be acceptable to us,” Imran Khan said in a statement. The PTI chief said that being a sportsman, he would accept any outcome. He added that his party’s leadership would hold a press conference in connection with the alleged rigging in the elections. PTI leader Javed Hashmi said that his party would issue a white paper on rigging in elections across the country after gathering evidences. Addressing a press conference at Jinnah House in Sialkot, he said that the PTI would not allow anyone to hijack people’s mandate. Meanwhile, PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed concern over delay in the announcement of election result in NA-230, and alleged that rigging was being done in the constituency. Addressing a press conference, he disclosed that he was leading with margin of 16,000 votes in 175 polling stations and alleged that rigging was carried out at 38 polling stations and the result of polling stations was delayed deliberately. He claimed that armed men of the PPP attacked different polling stations, resorted to firing, picked up ballot boxes and also burnt ballot papers. Qureshi alleged that police were also supporting his rival candidates in the constituency.