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HRCP raises concern over integrity of general elections

11:50 AM | 18 Feb, 2024
HRCP raises concern over integrity of general elections

ISLAMABAD – The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed significant reservations regarding the reliability and integrity of the general elections conducted on February 8, as reported by The News on Sunday.

Based on the findings of HRCP’s election monitors, who conducted on-site assessments in 51 constituencies, several issues arose during the electoral process, particularly concerning the post-polling procedures.

The nationwide suspension of internet and mobile services on election day, coupled with unanticipated changes in polling information, hindered voters’ ability to locate polling stations effectively.

HRCP’s report, released on Saturday, highlighted the disproportionate impact of these challenges on specific demographics, including women with mobility limitations, individuals with disabilities, senior citizens, and those with limited financial resources.

Of particular concern was the prolonged delay in announcing election results by returning officers. While the polling process itself generally maintained transparency and peace, there were significant shortcomings in the post-polling phase.

In a considerable number of observed polling stations, presiding officers failed to prominently display the statement of the count for public view or transmit result photographs to the returning officer and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Allegations arose regarding discrepancies between the returning officer’s announcement and the presiding officer’s count.

Disturbingly, reports emerged of candidates, polling agents, and observers being denied access to witness the provisional consolidation of results. HRCP recommends an independent audit of the 2024 elections under parliamentary oversight, stressing the exclusion of security and intelligence agencies from electoral management. The utility of the caretaker government scheme should be subject to parliamentary debate. Furthermore, uninterrupted cellular and internet services must be ensured on polling day and afterward.

The ECP should publish all relevant forms under the Elections Act 2017, and upon receiving petitions from aggrieved political parties or candidates, should order recounts in closely contested races, especially where the number of rejected ballots surpasses the margin of victory.

The integrity of the 2024 elections was compromised not only due to ECP’s inadequacies but also due to external pressures and questionable decisions by the caretaker government, as documented by HRCP in the year leading up to the polls.

It is imperative for all political parties to collectively uphold and safeguard civilian supremacy through consistent, meaningful, and inclusive political dialogue. The true casualties of these elections have been democratic principles, the rule of law, and the aspirations of ordinary citizens.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 19 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 19, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.2 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 19 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.25 345.65
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.09 748.09
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.44 38.84
Danish Krone DKK 39.69 40.09
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.64 911.64
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.31 25.61
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.87
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.08 307.58
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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