As the days are passing, the political parties, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and People’s party Pakistan (PPP) in particular, and their leaders are getting louder and louder over the failure of Election Commission of Pakistan in conducting free and fair elections. Many political parties see crashing of Result Transmission System (RTS) a deliberate attempt to temper the results of the polls. Whereas the ECP maintains that going down of RTS was a technical failure, the losing parties are not satisfied with the explanations ECP has been giving since July 26 of the last month.

Owing to the immense pressure and allegations by the political parties on the ECP, the body has issued directions to the Cabinet Division to form an inquiry committee to investigate the causes of RTS failure.

There are certain questions that the ECP needs to answer even if the investigation committee gives a clean chit to ECP while exonerating it of the allegations hurled against it by political parties. Why did the commission overlook the fact, while running pilots, that on polling day the system could crash? Why did ECP not make any arrangement to avoid any such crashes beforehand? Why did the technical staff never give prior thought to the load on the application on the day of elections? ECP needs to satisfy the political parties on many such questions.

Nevertheless, thanks to the negligence of the ECP that by relying on a faulty application for results of polling it has provided an opportunity to the losing political parties to call the entire voting process a dubious one. One wonders what ECP’s reaction will be if by some chance the allegations of the losing candidates are corroborated by the committee report? Will ECP hold new elections if the committee holds the commission negligent in conducting of the polls?