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Thursday, February 29, 2024

EVMs could’ve averted delayed election results: President Alvi

Entire effort which included more than 50 meetings at Presidency alone was scuttled, says president

President Dr Arif Alvi casts his vote on February 8. —X/@ArifAlvi/
  • Remember ‘our’ long struggle for EVMs: President Arif Alvi. 
  • Says results would’ve been available in minutes if EVMs used.
  • “EVM had paper ballots that could be counted separately […].”

Expressing his annoyance over the delayed election results, President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday said that the country would have been spared the ongoing crisis if the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had been used during the February 8 general elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) new Election Management System (EMS) fell flat despite the commission’s tall claims as the election regulator has failed to announce the initial results of all the constituencies even after almost 72 hours.

Taking to his X handle, the president said: “Had EVMs been there today, my dear beloved Pakistan would have been spared this crisis.”

Recalling the former PTI-led government’s struggles for the EVMs, President Alvi said that the entire effort which included more than 50 meetings at the Presidency alone was scuttled.

“Remember ‘our’ long struggle for EVMs. EVM had paper ballots that could be counted separately by hand (like it is being done today) BUT it also had a simple electronic calculator/counter of each vote button pressed.”

The president said that the totals of every candidate would have been available and printed within five minutes of the closing of the poll if the machines were used.

Almost all the political parties, including the PPP, expressed concerns over the incredibly slow pace of results after the conclusion of the voting process on February 8.

Earlier today, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) staged a protest over alleged rigging and alteration of results in Sindh’s PS-22 constituency.

“Our [JUI-F’s] candidate was made to lose via [deliberate] change of results,” JUI-F leader Rashid Mehmood Soomro said.

“We have won by [margin of] 7,000 votes as per the Form 45s in our possession,” he said while calling for fresh elections in multiple constituencies.

As the country witnesses delayed results after the conclusion of polling, Moody’s Investor Service had anticipated Friday that the timely declaration of the results would assuage the current uncertain circumstances in the country.

Grace Lim, an analyst at Moody’s in Singapore said: “This is crucial for the country that is facing very challenging macroeconomic conditions, with a fragile balance of payments, weak growth and high inflation.”

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