ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Friday said that rigging was carried out to defeat party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the July general elections.

In-charge of the PPP Central Election Cell Taj Haider said that according to data released by Free and Fair Election Network not a single Forms 45 on two seats - NA-246 and NA-200 - where Bilawal Bhutto Zardari contested carried the signatures of his polling agents or those of polling agents of any other candidate of any political party.

On NA-8, the third seat where Chairman PPP had contested only two forms 45 carry the signatures of his polling agents, he said.

On this seat, the number of Forms 45 signed by the polling agents of candidates belonging to four other political parties was also two each, he said.

Haider said these three seats where Bilawal contested were enough to indicate a general pattern of counting after throwing out polling agents from all polling stations.

He called the statement of the Election Commission of Pakistan spokesperson of ECP issued yesterday, just another attempt to deceive and confuse the public mind. All pages of Forms 45, and not only the first page of results of every constituency have been uploaded on ECP website and anyone can check it. On the funny assertion of the ECP spokesman that polling agents signed Forms 45 on the backside of the forms, Taj Haider said that while not allotting any space on Form 45 for signature of polling agents was a part of the pre-poll rigging, section 90(13) of Election Act 2017 makes it mandatory on Presiding Officers to provide copies of the Results of Counts (Form 45) and Ballot Paper Account (Form 46) signed by polling agents to the polling agents and also to “obtain a receipt for such copy”.

Notwithstanding the frivolous assertion that Forms 45 were signed on their backside, can the ECP produce the receiving receipts of copies of Forms 45 signed by polling agents of PPP Chairman in the 3 NA constituencies that he contested in, or those of polling agents of any other candidate belonging to a political party.

Haider further said that the provision of installing surveillance cameras on polling stations “to record poll proceedings, counting of vote process and preparation of results by the Presiding Officer” under section 59 (12) had been extended by the ECP to all polling stations. Can the ECP spokesman make public any recording of the surveillance cameras covering the “counting” of vote process and preparation of results by Presiding Officers in the constituencies contested by the PPP Chairman.

Violations of Law that have taken place in the electoral constituencies of the PPP Chairman were the general pattern of violations committed with impurity all over Pakistan. It is pertinent to point out that under section 56 of Election Act 2017 election officials make an oath that they “shall act strictly in accordance with the provisions of this Act, Rules and directions of the Commission”.

Haider advised the spokesman of ECP not to make his esteemed institution a laughing stock before the whole nation. Wrongs that have been committed need to be corrected and not covered up.