Army deployment only meant for providing security at polling stations

Islamabad (HRNW): Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Babar Yaqoob has said that security personnel, to be deployed inside and outside polling stations on the Election Day, would have no direct or indirect role in compiling and dispatching process of election results to the commission. He stated that security personnel would have no role in “result transmission” as Presiding Officers (POs) would carry out the whole exercise – vote counting, result compiling and its onward transmission after tabulation through Result Transmission System (RTS) to the Returning Officers (ROs) concerned and eventually to the ECP.

He said the code of conduct clearly defined the role of security personnel deployed inside and outside the polling stations about their election duties and in case of any irregularity and malpractice, they would only report to the PO concerned.The secretary said security personnel would be assigned the same task and powers as had been given during every election in the past.The army was being deployed on the request of political parties and they would perform their duties as per the Constitution, he added.

Babar said the prime and major responsibility of the forces would be to maintain law and order, besides providing assistance in the conduct of free, fair and transparent general election. “The army shall ensure the security arrangements and it shall have no direct role in conduct of the election.”Keeping in view the recent attack in Peshawar on an election corner meeting, he said, the commission had taken the decision to deploy army at the polling stations.He said provincial governments have installed CCTV cameras at about 18,000 polling stations, while ensuring that the cameras were fixed at spots where voters’ secrecy was not compromised.He also said that mobile phones would not be allowed within the premises of the polling stations.

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