Home Latest News Delay in Election Results Does not Mean Rigging, Claims Kakar

Delay in Election Results Does not Mean Rigging, Claims Kakar

Interim prime minister he cannot ensure 336 seats, the total strength in the National Assembly, for the PTI

by Staff Report

File photo, courtesy PID

Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday defended the delay in issuing results of the Feb. 8 general elections, stressing that this did not necessarily suggest rigging.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he acknowledged the government’s decision to suspend mobile services had facilitated the delay, adding the unfortunate step was necessary to prevent terrorism. “We could afford delay, but terrorist attacks, we could not,” he said, reiterating that this did not mean the results were rigged.

Comparing Pakistan’s election results to other countries, he recalled that Indonesia’s counting had taken nearly a month, but no one had questioned whether those results were rigged. “We are a country of 240 million with 92,000 polling stations … this entire process had to consume some time, which should and can be explained,” he said. Referring to the 2018 general elections, he said the result gathering process then had taken 66 hours, while the 2024 results were compiled in 36 hours—though still far beyond the self-imposed 9-hour deadline of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

On concerns about free and fair polls from various foreign governments, Kakar said any irregularities would be probed as and when required. “These friendly countries, unfortunately, frame their initial assessment on the fabricated and fractured information available on social media and the digital space,” he lamented. “A responsible government should take time and then have a position; that would have been better. If we have to investigate, we will not do it on the demand of the United States, United Kingdom, or the E.U.,” he said, adding Pakistan had robust laws to deal with such internal matters.

“We did not ask a judicial inquiry on the Capitol Hill riots [in the U.S.]. It is not for us to demand it and it is not for them. For me, the demand of a PTI individual [holds more than weight] than the U.S., U.K., and E.U. combined,” he said, noting these nations also had issues with their own electoral processes, but this was not a matter for Pakistan to comment on. Similarly, he said, these countries should avoid issuing statements on Islamabad’s domestic affairs.

“Irregularities might have happened but there are certain forums [to protest them],” he said of complaints of alleged rigging. Similarly, he said, while peaceful protest was the public’s right, strict action would be taken against anyone involved in violence.

To a question, the caretaker said the next elected Parliament would determine if it wished to adopt Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for future polls. “There should be an open discussion on EVMS,” he said, referring to a complaint from President Arif Alvi claiming the results would not face delays if EVMs were used in the 2024 polls.

Responding to a question on the PTI’s claims it had won dozens more seats in the National Assembly, Kakar said the party wanted to get 336 seats in the house—the total number available—which he couldn’t do. He also reiterated claims that all political parties were granted a “level playing field,” including the PTI. “If a level-playing field was denied to the PTI, then how did such a large number of their supporters reach the NA,” he questioned. “What kind of level playing filed were they expecting?” he added.

“We have to end hatred and respect each other,” he stressed. “It is my desire that we take steps towards a healthy Pakistan,” he added.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment