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ECP Halts Final Result for NA-71 Amidst Allegations of Rigging

NA-71

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken a significant step by putting a hold on the final result of the NA-71 constituency, where PML-N leader Khawaja Asif was declared the winner in the February 8 elections. This decision follows allegations of irregularities and discrepancies in the electoral process, prompting the ECP to request a detailed report from the returning officer (RO) responsible for overseeing the constituency.

The ECP’s move comes in response to concerns raised by Rehana Dar, a candidate supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the NA-71 Sialkot constituency. Dar’s application highlighted discrepancies between the results recorded in Form 45 and Form 47. Allegedly, Form 45 indicated a victory for Dar with a lead of 50,000 votes, while Form 47 prepared by the RO showed a defeat by 47,000 votes. The inconsistencies raised questions about the accuracy and reliability of the electoral data.

During the hearing on this matter in Islamabad, the ECP decided to postpone further proceedings until February 14. The commission issued a notice to the RO, seeking a response to Rehana Dar’s concerns. The decision to halt the results and extend the hearing reflects the ECP’s commitment to ensuring fairness and transparency in the electoral process.

Of particular note is the revelation that a revised Form 47 was uploaded to the election commission’s website, adding another layer of complexity to the situation. Despite this update, Rehana Dar’s legal team maintained the integrity of their initial request during the hearing.

As stakeholders await the response from the RO and subsequent developments, the ECP’s actions underscore the importance of addressing allegations of irregularities to uphold the integrity of the electoral system. The investigation into the contested results of NA-71 is expected to shed further light on the situation and contribute to the overall transparency of the electoral process.

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