PTI came to power in 2018 with people's support and votes: Shibli

ISLAMABAD, Nov 23 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday said in the 2018 general election, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  (PTI) had come to power with the support and votes of the people.

Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), a reputable independent non-governmental organization monitoring elections and other democratic processes, had acknowledged significant improvement in the quality of critical electoral processes in the 2018 general election, he said in a tweet.

The minister shared FAFEN’s comparative list of irregularities observed in the 2013 and 2018 general elections, showing decline in the latter one.

As per FAFEN, some 133 petitions were filed to challenge election in the National Assembly constituencies in 2013, while their number was only 102 in 2018.

The most important point is that both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had challenged the election in 24 NA constituencies in 2018 while the PTI alone filed 23 petitions in the Election Commission of Pakistan against “unfair” polls.

According to the FAFEN data, the percentage of campaign materials’ presence inside the polling stations in 2013 was 3.2 percent, which fell to 1.8 per cent in 2018.

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Similarly, the percentage of voters permitted to cast votes with identification documents other than national identity cards in 2013 was 9.3 per cent against 1.1 per cent in 2018.

The FAFEN data shows that in 2013 the ratio of polling staff, polling agents ,security personnel or other persons accompanying voters behind secrecy screens was 17 per cent which fell to 6.8 per cent in 2018.

Likewise, the percentage of polling staff disallowing voters with disabilities from seeking assistance of their choice to cast vote fell to 3.5 per cent in 2018 from 14.9 per cent in 2013.

Similarly, the incidents of capturing polling stations remained 1.2 per cent in 2013 while none was reported in 2018. The incidents of unauthorized persons pressurizing the polling staff were 3.8 per cent in 2013, which fell to 0.5 per cent in 2018.

The FAFEN report shared by Shibli Faraz said the ratio of voters already queued at the polling stations not allowed to vote at the close of voting remained 23.5 per cent in 2013 against 7.5 per cent in 2018.

The ratio of incidents of polling station result form ( Form No 45) not provided to the candidates and their agents present at the polling stations in 2018 fell from 2.5 per cent from 7.5 per cent in 2013.

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Likewise, the incidents of violence at polling stations fell from 7.6 per cent in 2013  to 1.1 per cent only in 2018. The incidents of polling staff trying to influence voters electoral choice in 2013 remained 2.0 per cent and 0.5 per cent in 2018.

Shibil Faraz said it was time for the foreign media outlets, including the BBC, to realize that the PTI was voted to power by the people in the 2018 election, notwithstanding the baseless propaganda being churned out – unless they sought to become a tool of the propagandists.

He said the military supported the democratic government and its policies as required by the Constitution.

About the alleged military dominance as well as its role in the elections, he said the issue really was of the frustration being felt by Pakistan’s detractors because the PTI government and the Pakistan Military were on the same page.