1,760 PreElection complaints filed with DECs in 48 Districts

Islamabad: The Free and Fair Election Network FAFEN’s District LongTerm Observers DLTOs conducted interviews of 88 District Election Commissioners DECs about the placement of preelection complainthandling mechanism and 51 DECs regarding voter registration process. Fifty-two of the 88 DECS said they had a mechanism in place, says a press release issued by FAFEN on Friday.

So far 1,760 election related complaints were filed in 52 districts by citizens and political parties, of which 1,547 87.9% were reported in 14 districts of Sindh. A total of 648 complaints were related to voter registration and 63 about locations of polling station all over the country.

Thirty-eight of the 51 DECs who were asked about the voter registration process said they were receiving applications and 20 of them were maintaining statistics. A total of 13,573 applications were received in 10 districts of Punjab and 12,461 applications in six districts of Sindh. Two districts of Balochistan received 3,753 voter registration applications and two districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KP entertained 801 applications.

DECs responded to queries regarding re-election complaint handling mechanism in 88 districts 31 in Punjab, 24 in Sindh, 17 in KP, nine in Balochistan, six in FATA and one in ICT. Fifty-two 59.1% out of 88 of the DECs said a re-election complaint handling mechanism was in place in their districts, 23 26.1% said no such system existed while 13 14.8% did not respond.

Of the 52 districts where a re-election complaint handling mechanism was in place, 20 were in Punjab 38.5%, 14 in Sindh 26.9%, 11 in KP 21.2%, three each in Balochistan and FATA 5.8% each and one in ICT. Of the 52 DECs who said they had a pre-election complaint handling mechanism was in place, 48 shared the complaint handling policy and four did not. Of the 48 districts sharing the complaint handling policy, 20 were in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 9 in KP, four in Balochistan and one in ICT.

The most complaints reported by DECs were registered in 14 districts of Sindh 1,547, or an average of 110 per district, of which one third 545, or 35.2% were resolved. One third of the complaints 543, or 35.1% were related to voter registration, and four were about the location of polling stations. The nature of other complaints was not shared by the DECs.

In 20 districts of Punjab, DECs said 158 complaints were registered an average of eight per district, about two thirds of which were resolved 99, or 62.7%. Two thirds of the complaints 98, or 62.0% were about voter registration, 56 about the location of polling stations 35.4%, and two related to violations of the ECP Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates.

A total of 48 citizen complaints were filed in 11 districts of KP an average of four per district, of which 39 81.3% were resolved. Three of these complaints were related to the location of polling stations, while the nature of 45 others was not shared. In Balochistan, seven complaints regarding voter registration were received in three districts, and all of them were resolved. No complaints were reported in FATA, FRs or ICT.

Political parties also lodged complaints across the country. A total of 93 complaints were filed by political parties on various topics such as impartiality of government, ECP or police officials, attack on party workers etc. Of these, 33 were filed in Punjab, 25 in KP, 17 in Sindh, 9 in Balochistan, 7 in FATA, and one each in the Frontier Regions FRs and ICT.

FAFEN DLTOs observed voter registration in 51 districts, of which 17 were in Punjab, 15 in Sindh, 9 each in KP and Balochistan and one in Islamabad Capital Territory ICT.

The DECs in 51 districts were asked if their offices were receiving applications for voter registration. Three quarters of DECs 38, or 74.5% said yes, nine reported they were not receiving any applications 17.6%, and four did not share information in this regard.

Out of 38 DECs who were receiving voter registration applications, 16 were in Punjab, 11 in Sindh, five each in Balochistan and KP and one in ICT.