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Media Must Be Given Access to Result Consolidation Process

ISLAMABAD: October 28, 2015. (PCP) The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to define a procedure for media to acquire official results as a prerequisite for a transparent election results management.

While acknowledging the importance of checking the irresponsible reporting of election results, FAFEN believes that media organizations should have been taken into confidence before the imposition of such a condition. FAFEN, therefore, calls upon the ECP to provide access to media to all the sites where election results are being consolidated. Such measures will inspire greater confidence of stakeholders in the electoral process.

FAFEN considers the ban on progressive reporting of results as an opportunity for media to scrutinize the election results at a deeper level. Media can still acquire the relevant result forms finalized by presiding officers at the polling stations from polling agents and compare them with the official results provided by the ECP. This will help unearth any discrepancies as, according to FAFEN, there have been instances where forms finalized at the polling stations are different from the ones consolidated at the offices of the returning officers.