ECP should allow Senate to probe RTS collapse, demands Raza Rabbani


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raza Rabbani on Friday demanded the Senate to be allowed to probe into malfunctioning of the software used during polls, which caused a delay in the election results.

After the poll results were delayed, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had blamed a collapse in the Results Transmission System (RTS) for the unusual delay in the results on election day.

In a statement to the media, Rabbani lashed out at the electoral body. He called the constitution of a committee by ECP to probe into the RTS-collapse incident a 'mere sham.'

"We reject the ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob's letter to constitute a probe committee," Rabbani said. "Formation of a committee to probe into failure of the RTS system is a mere sham. The terms of reference (TORs) to form the committee are ambiguous and they ignore the main issue." 

The PPP leader noted that TORs of the committee did not mention the statement of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that had said the system was functional. 

The former Senate chairman further noted that the General Election 2018 had fallen prey to pre-poll rigging. "The collapse of RTS has raised questions on the entire election," he said. 

"The failure of RTS has given way to political instability at the centre," Rabbani said. "We demand that the Senate be allowed to investigate the matter." 

On Thursday, ECP asked the Cabinet Division to constitute a committee to probe the malfunction of the software that was transmitting election results. The electoral body asked for technical representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board to be included in the committee.

The commission further recommended that the committee should present a report on the matter within a month.

ECP secretary Babar Yaqoob on July 26 had said that the delay has not been caused by any 'wicked conspiracy' or pressure. He had stated that the poll results had been delayed due to the result transmission system malfunction while data was being entered into it.