ECP to share official, unofficial poll results
Islamabad – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will share the official and unofficial election results in order to update the public about the developments in respective constituencies through instant information sharing.
Generally, it has been witnessed that polls results are notified two to three days after the conduct of an election, including the by-polls and the Senate elections. However, the electoral body updates the general public through informing the media about the unofficial results, which are confirmed but have not been officially released since they are not notified.
The media outlets, by airing the results or printing the relevant news items, inform the public in time about the fate of the candidates. In case of any irregularities detected in an election in any constituency, the results are withheld and are not released officially while the unofficial results are made public. The official results are made public only after the pertinent inquiries launched to probe foul play in any given constituency are completed.
As per standard procedure, the election results are prepared by the presiding officers under the direct supervision of the returning officers and district returning officers who send these results to the ECP. The ECP then shares these results with its provincial, regional and district offices.
To the media, the information is made available by the ECP. Moreover, the journalists who have direct access to the polling stations through their media accreditation cards, can gather all the required information from the polling agents and run it in the respective media outlets.
UNDP trains 750,000 govt
officials for polls
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has imparted professional training, under its three major training programmes, to more than 750,000 government officials from the departments concerned who are ready to perform respective duties in this week’s general elections, a top UN diplomat said on Monday.
The trained personnel include the staff members of the Election Commission of Pakistan, police personnel and the returning officers. The UN agency has trained 33,000 policemen including 19,000 personnel deputed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, to respond to the security threats in wake of declining security situation there.
“We’ve provided assistance to the ECP in training the government officials vis-à-vis the upcoming elections through different kinds of training programmes, basically divided in three sets,” said Marc-Andre Franche, the UNDP Country Director in Pakistan, while talking to this correspondent.
He was responding to the queries on the UNDP’s role in assisting the ECP and the government in the conduct of the general elections scheduled on Saturday.
Presently, the UN diplomat said over 450 returning officers were being trained for the elections’ results management. “The training is being completed. This programme focuses on equipping the ROs with the professional skills to manage the elections results once they are out,” he said, adding that two other programmes involving the trainings of the ECP officials, the teachers, as well as the police officers had already been completed.
In order to educate the electoral staff on the polling stations management and the related rules and guidelines, the UNDP and IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems) have trained over 700,000 government officials working with the federal and the provincial governments from Pakistan who are assigned to perform election duties, the diplomat informed.
According to an ECP official, 720,000 is the exact number of the government employees comprising of the ECP staffers and the schoolteachers from all the four provinces and Islamabad, who have been trained by the UNDP and IFES. The weeklong training had started on the April 19 and it focussed on the educating the personnel concerned on the ballot boxes and ballot papers-handling and vote-casting supervision procedures, the official said.
Moreover, during the Monday conversation, Marc-Andre Franche informed that the UNDP trained 33,000 police personnel including 19,000 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and 14,000 from Punjab, under the basic electoral security programme. “This programme has also been completed. The Punjab Government facilitated the training of its personnel and provided the required material while the UNDP provided methodological support to them.”
Asked if the UNDP facilitated the visits of the international electoral observers in Pakistan to monitor the general elections, Franche clarified that the UN agency did not have any role in this regard. “We don’t have this kind of mandate-on facilitation of the electoral observers’ visits. We do have a role pertaining to the electoral observation and conducting briefings accordingly, for the international community including the foreign observers but we’re not arranging for their visits here,” he said.
Meanwhile, a protocol official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared that the foreign international observers have been arriving in Pakistan since last month and their number was expected to increase till May 11. The MOFA, he said, was issuing non-objection certificates (NOCs) every day to the international observer missions generally comprising of up to five electoral experts.
“The NOCs are issued subject to the fulfilment of required documents and relevant official procedures. Upon their arrival here, the electoral observers have to follow the travel advisories and instructions, which are part of the security measures, issued by the embassies concerned and Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior,” he said adding that the electoral observers were not allowed to visit the areas under security threat without acquiring permission from the interior ministry and intimating the MOFA in this regard.