Pakistan elections: 1.67 million votes were rejected, says report

The number of votes rejected in Pakistan’s general elections was 1.67 million, 11.7pc more that the 1.5 million rejected in the 2013 polls, according to a report by the Free and Fair Elections Network (Fafen), a election watchdog.

The report said the increase in rejected votes was observed in all four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Opposition parties have alleged the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is set to form government, won a number of crucial seats at the centre and in the provinces based on the high incidence of rejected votes.

Fafen reported that in the Islamabad area, the number of votes rejected during the count was more than double the figure for the 2013 elections. There was a 40% increase in the number of rejected votes in Balochistan, 30.6% in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, 7% in Sindh and 6.6% in Punjab.

The ballots excluded from the count surpassed the margin of victory in 49, or 18.1%, of the 270 National Assembly seats where elections were held. Among them were 26 constituencies in Punjab, 11 in Sindh, and six each in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Opposition leaders said this is a significant number.

Similarly, the number of ballots excluded from the count exceeded the margin of victory in 120, or 21%, of the 570 provincial assembly seats where elections were held. This included 58 provincial assembly constituencies in Punjab, 24 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 22 in Sindh and 16 in Balochistan.

Of the 49 National Assembly seats where the number of excluded ballots exceeded the margin of victory, 21 were won by PTI, 11 by PML-N, six by Pakistan People’s Party, three by Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), two by Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and one each by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamhoori Watan Party and PML-Q. Independents won two constituencies.

Among the 58 constituencies of Punjab Assembly which witnessed the same phenomenon, PML-N won 26 seats, PTI 23, PPP two and PML-Q one. The remaining were won by independents.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s 24 constituencies, 11 were won by PTI, seven by MMA, two each by PML-N and PPP and one by ANP. An independent won one seat.

In Sindh’s 22 constituencies, nine were claimed by the PPP, six by GDA, four by PTI, two by Muttahida Qaumi Movement and one by MMA. In Balochistan’s 16 constituencies, six were won by BAP, three each by PTI and MMA and one each by PML-N and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.

According to the provincial results of the 2018 general elections, 79 national and 169 provincial assembly constituencies had a margin of victory of less than 5% of the total votes polled or 10,000.

First Published: Aug 04, 2018 21:09 IST

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