Pakistan Elections Were 100% Free, Fair And Transparent: Chief Election Commissioner

According to the law, if the turnout increases by 2 pm, the voting time could be increased. Time was increased at three polling stations in Gujrat 

Pakistan Elections Were 100% Free, Fair And Transparent: Chief Election Commissioner

As time for voting ended, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said on Thursday that the general elections were 100% free, fair, and transparent. 

No voter was stopped at any polling station across Pakistan, he said, adding that he hoped that all stakeholders would accept the results of the elections.

Speaking to the media in the Election Commission's Office in Islamabad on Thursday, he said that the elections were largely peaceful and that the voting process continued uninterrupted. 

He added that wherever the officials faced a connectivity issue, the presiding officer would personally visit the returning officer's office to hand over the final results sheet, known as Form 45. 

The results contained on Form 45 would then be uploaded to the Election Management System (EMS). The form will be automatically sent to the ECP whenever the system regains connectivity.

Asked about the possibility of increasing the time to cast votes, Raja said that per the law, if the returning officer requests to increase the time for casting votes at certain polling stations by 2 pm, then time can be increased. 

He pointed out that the time for voting at three polling stations in Gujrat was increased after the ROs made the request. 

On the suspension of the internet, the chief election commissioner said that when it is assessed that there is no security threat, then internet and mobile services would resume across the country.

The CEC said that their services remain unaffected by the internet outage as they have shifted their systems to a private intranet.

He further clarified that the ECP was not responsible for closing internet services in the country. However, he added that they remain in touch with the caretaker government.

Kakar congratulates the nation on successful elections

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar congratulated the public on the successful conduct of the elections.

In a statement, he congratulated the election commission and the caretaker provincial governments, the military, civil armed forces, other law enforcing services, police, election staff, media and other relevant stakeholders.

He said that free and fair elections in the country will help strengthen democracy in the country.

"The participation and enthusiasm of the people of Pakistan have been the cornerstone of this democratic exercise. The high voter turnout is a clear indication of public commitment to shaping the future of our country. The voices, expressed through the votes, will contribute to the fortification of our democracy, and for that, the people of Pakistan deserve every bit of appreciation," he said.

Kakar said that despite some incidents of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the voting process remained largely peaceful across the country.

"The efforts of Armed Forces, Civil Armed Forces, LEAs, Civilian Administration and Election Commission of Pakistan for conducting free and fair elections across the country are commendable," he said.

He said that in the face of great adversity, the people had shown remarkable courage and determination. "Your resolve in the aftermath of the recent terrorism incidents, continuing to participate in the electoral process, is a powerful statement against the forces that seek to destabilise our nation. It underscores our collective desire for peace, stability, and prosperity."