The transparency of recent elections in Pakistan has been questioned after the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) released a preliminary observation report.
The report highlighted major irregularities and challenges during the electoral process. The transparency levels were declared satisfactory at polling stations.
However, it raised concerns regarding potential irregularities within the offices of the returning officers (ROs).
According to the report, approximately 1.6 million ballot papers were rejected during the election across the country.
FAFEN revealed that the number of rejected votes exceeded the margin of victory in 25 constituencies.
It is also revealed that 130 observers were reportedly denied entry to the offices of ROs.
Furthermore, the observers weren’t provided copies of Form 45 in 28% of polling stations nationwide.
FAFEN Chairperson Mussarat Qadeem lauded the efforts to hold the elections despite different challenges, including chaos and terrorism.
However, she stressed the importance of transparency and providing equal opportunities to all political parties.
The FAFEN report revealed that the overall voter turnout was 48% in Pakistan on February 8.
The network also urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to address the grievances of political parties and candidates regarding the election results.