ECP chief plays down delay in Pakistan election result announcements

ECP chief plays down delay in Pakistan election result announcements

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan defended the hour-long delays in the announcement of the general election results, and ruled out allegations of rigging.

“We are not more than two hours late. The delay was caused by some technical faults in the RTS system,” Sardar Raza Khan told reporters at 4am Thursday. The deadline for the results was supposed to be 2am.

Even then, he announced ‘unofficial’ and unconfirmed results of a Punjab Assembly constituency, PP-11, where PTI's Chuadhry Adnan beat the PML-N candidate, securing 43,079 votes.

“The delay has not affected the results,” he said.

Sardar Raza Khan rejected political party accusations about the ECP’s failure, but assured that their concerns would be investigated.

“This is not the ECP’s failure; we have done our job,” he said, and thanked all institutions, including the army, media, and judiciary, for help in the holding of the general elections in a "free, fair and transparent" manner.

As polling ended July 25, major political parties claimed rigging and vote manipulation.

PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif rejected the early election results that suggested PTI chairman Imran Khan is becoming the country's next prime minister.

Sharif said, “People will not bear the blatant rigging. It has pushed Pakistan back 30 years.”

Other political parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, PPP and MQM, also raised the similar concerns about the results from Wednesday's nationwide poll.

The vote count was still underway and the Election Commission is compiling the results at 5am. APP