ROs from Karachi blame RTS failure for delay in compilation of election results

KARACHI: ,Failure of the Result Transmission System, (RTS) on the night of July 25 came under further spotlight and this time straight from the horse’s mouth as returning officers (ROs) of some constituencies in Karachi blamed the newly-developed application which, according to some of them, was working well minutes before 12 midnight, documents showed on Sunday.

In their “explanation” to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), some ROs from Karachi shared their experiences on the night of July 25 when their efforts to compile results failed to meet the set deadline mostly due to their reliance on the RTS.

Editorial: ,ECP must explain,

Say newly-developed application was working well minutes before 12 midnight on polling day

One such officer, while explaining her position, recalled the details of that night which suggested that the RTS came to a standstill all of a sudden. “I received results of 13 polling stations out of 98 polling stations of the NA-242 constituency through RTS at 11.57pm and they were uploaded on the Result Management System (RMS),” she said. But the results of the remaining polling stations of the constituency could not be uploaded by 2am. Because results were not available till 2am it was not possible for her to generate Form-47 on the RMS, she added.

The RO of NA-243, the Karachi east constituency from where Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan emerged victorious, had a similar story to share. He said it was “non-functioning of RTS” that failed him to meet the deadline set for compiling the final results.

Amid so much stories to share about the failure of RTS, the ROs, however, did not come up with any reason behind the alleged expulsion of political parties’ polling agents from polling stations during the vote count.

As reported in a section of press and claimed by the officials earlier, none of the ROs in their replies mentioned any directives from the authorities to stop using the RTS “as a problem has occurred” in the system. They simply blamed crash of the RTS which compelled them to manually transmit of the results to relevant authorities which caused so much delay.

“The presiding officers were at the mercy of law-enforcement agencies, especially army officials who were responsible for escorting presiding officers and senior presiding officers of polling stations in safe custody,” mentioned an RO in the explanation to ECP.

The RO of Sindh Assembly constituency PS-100 blamed the failure of RTS and the delayed movement of polling staff as two key reasons behind the delay of the results. “The results of the election could not be compiled and communicated as per scheduled time till 2am due to failure of RTS,” said the officer.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018

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