Nation ‘accepted’ election results, PM Kakar asserts – Pakistan

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Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar responds to allegations of rigging in elections at a press convention.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Despite the litany of challenges being filed in courts throughout the nation in opposition to the Feb 8 common election outcomes, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar believes the nation has “accepted the outcomes”.

While addressing a press convention on the Prime Minister’s House on Monday, Mr Kakar responded to the allegations of rigging and defended the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the military.

“The nation has accepted the outcomes, allow us to transfer on,” Mr Kakar mentioned.

Rejecting complaints being lodged by PTI-backed unbiased candidates about alleged rigging, the PM questioned how stalwarts like Rana Sanaullah, Javed Latif, Khurram Dastagir and Khawaja Saad Rafiq misplaced if rigging was dedicated.

“[T]hese folks believed that rigging was dedicated as a result of the cellular service was suspended and outcomes have been delayed by 36 hours,” the PM added.

Kakar defends military and Election Commission, rebuffs claims of rigging

He additionally took exception to the claims of any “hidden stress” being exerted to alter the election outcomes and mentioned hidden stress means institution.

“The largest deployment of the army is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the very best assist when it comes to [PTI-backed] returned candidates is from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and there have been such locations [in the province] the place nobody apart from the army has entry. If they [the military] needed to do rigging, then why did they not do it in these locations.”

He added that elections have been held below the laws and procedures drafted and handed by the parliament. “The process was prescribed within the parliament and was not handed in any corps commander assembly,” he mentioned when requested about President Alvi’s social media submit wherein he mentioned digital voting machines would have led to honest elections.

However, he lent assist to the president’s views on the necessity to introduce EVMs and suggested events to have a “threadbare dialogue” within the subsequent parliament over this difficulty.

Mr Kakar blamed political events for his or her failure “to enact efficient laws” to plug loopholes within the electoral system.

“Such complaints [about rigging] have been made up to now and can proceed in future in the event that they [parliamentarians] don’t enact efficient laws,” he added.

The PM added that the caretaker authorities had supplied a stage enjoying area to all political events. Due to the “free and honest course of”, many unbiased candidates backed by PTI emerged as the most important single group within the nationwide and provincial assemblies’ seats.

When requested why he was defending the ECP when nearly each mainstream political celebration was crucial of its efficiency, the PM responded that if the fee has acted in accordance with the legislation, then it’s his “ethical obligation to defend them.” He added that there have been a number of boards accessible to those that have any doubts concerning the election outcomes.

About the delay within the transmission and announcement of outcomes, the PM claimed that outcomes have been issued inside 36 hours, whereas within the 2018 election, it took 66 hours to finalise the outcomes. “This time, outcomes got here in from 92,000 polling stations, and the process was {that a} safety van would go from all polling stations to move outcomes to ROs,” the PM mentioned, including the delay was resulting from this process.

The PM contrasted this with the 2018 common elections in Sweden, which he claimed had a inhabitants of round 6.5 million, but the consequence depend was accomplished in 12 days.

He mentioned, sadly, some personal TV channels levelled rigging allegations solely an hour after the polling ended.

In reply to a query about safety challenges, the PM mentioned regardless of threats, elections have been peaceable, and all stakeholders deserved appreciation for this “huge achievement”.

The prime minister additionally brushed apart considerations over the suspension of cell phone companies and mentioned the motion on the polling day was taken resulting from safety threats. He added that broadband web companies have been accessible on that day.

Mr Kakar recalled different days in the course of the yr when such motion was taken to avert safety threats.

The safety of individuals was “extra im­­portant to the federal government”, mentioned the PM as he dismissed the statements from US Congress members, which “shouldn’t be taken as sacrosanct or gospel fact”. He defended the federal government’s motion by claiming that there have been credible stories of terrorist assaults previous to election day.

Published in Dawn, February thirteenth, 2024

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