PTI backs opposition call for probe into ECP’s software failure

  • PTI leader Azam Swati has submitted a call-to-attention notice in the Senate to probe RTS debacle

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a party set to rule the country for next five years after bagging victory in recent polls, has also demanded a probe into the alleged failure of an online software of the election body causing delay in the election results.

The unusual delay in the results raised eye brows over the transparency of the process as the opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP), called for immediate investigation to know the causes behind the crash of the Result Transmission System (RTS).

According to private media, PTI leader Azam Swati has submitted a call-to-attention notice in the Senate to probe the matter, besides demanding action those who are found responsible in it.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wrote to the Cabinet Division asking it to form an investigation committee into the matter.

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, however, slammed the ECP and called its demand to constitute a committee just a face saving move. He also rejected the terms of references (TORs) to form the committee as ambiguous, claiming that the stance of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that the RTS was functional has not been included.

On July 26, the ECP had blamed a massive system failure for delay in announcing the final results of July 25 polls amid political parties’ outcry over ‘rigging’ and ‘vote tampering’.

RTS failure behind delay in final results of Elections 2018: ECP

ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob clarified that the only reason for delay in the arrival of election results was a technical fault in Results Transmission System, which stopped working when thousands of polling officers began using it.

Following the ECP’s statement, an IT firm brought forward altogether different reason behind the software crash. The MD of Rapid Compute, Cybernet’s Data Center and Cloud arm claimed that the electoral body selected cheaper option for the services leading to the debacle.

Choosing cheaper option for transmitting poll results causes ECP system debacle, claims IT firm

The MD wrote, “The ECP system that went down last night delaying voter tally was offered to be hosted by us (RapidCompute) and another local ISP. The local ISP quoted 1/10th our cost even though we protested that the amount of compute muscle required by the system as clarified by the system architect is impossible to meet at such low a cost”.