The scrutiny process of the nomination papers of candidates contesting the upcoming General Election was completed between April 1 and 7, 2013. The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has deployed Constituency Long-Term Observers (CLTOs) to observe the electoral processes in all constituencies across the country. This report has been prepared from data obtained by the CLTOs in 256 constituencies – 140 in Punjab, 60 in Sindh, 31 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 13 in Balochistan, nine in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), two in Islamabad Capital Territory and one constituency in the Frontier Regions (FRs). The data regarding the rejection of candidates’ nomination papers was directly observed by the CLTOs, while the data on challenges against candidates was compiled after obtaining copies of objections filed with the RO offices. The following table summarizes FAFEN’s coverage of the scrutiny process:
Number of Constituencies Reporting & Not Reporting Scrutiny Process
|Region||Total Constituencies||Constituencies Reporting||Constituencies Not Reporting||Name of Constituencies Not Reporting|
|143||140||3||NA-191, NA-39, NA-41|
NA-23, NA-30, NA-31, NA-32
Out of the 267 constituencies where FAFEN has deployed its CLTOs, data on candidates’ rejection came from 195 constituencies. Punjab had the highest number (105) of such constituencies, followed by Sindh (49), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (24), FATA (9), Balochistan (six) and two constituencies in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). No data on rejections was available from 72 constituencies – 38 in Punjab, 12 in Sindh, 11 in KP, eight in Balochistan, two in FATA and one in Frontier Region (FR). The following table explains FAFEN’s coverage across the country:
Number of Constituencies Reporting & Not Reporting
|Regions||Reporting Constituencies||Not Reporting Constituencies||Names of Not Reporting Constituencies|
|Balochistan||6||8||NA-259, NA-261, NA-265, NA-266, NA-267, NA-270, NA-271 & NA-272|
|FATA||9||2||NA-37 & NA-39|
|KP||24||11||NA-3, NA-4, NA-8, NA-14, NA-15, NA-19, NA-21, NA-23, NA-30, NA-31 & NA-32|
|Punjab||105||38||NA-53, NA-55, NA-61, NA-63, NA-65, NA-66, NA-67, NA-70, NA-73, NA-76, NA-82, NA-88, NA-89, NA-91, NA-93, NA-108, NA-112, NA-114, NA-115, NA-134, NA-136, NA-138, NA-141, NA-146, NA-147, NA-156, NA-162, NA-163, NA-165, NA-166, NA-174, NA-189, NA-191, NA-192, NA-193, NA-194, NA-195 & NA-196|
|Sindh||49||12||NA-209, NA-212, NA-219, NA-220, NA-221, NA-226, NA-231, NA-233, NA-239, NA-250, NA-254 & NA-256|
According to FAFEN observers, there were 45 constituencies where no nomination papers were rejected. On the other hand, a total of 474 nominations were rejected in the remaining 150 constituencies. Most of the rejections (201) were reported in Punjab, followed by 144 in Sindh, 56 in KP, 44 in FATA, 19 in ICT and 10 in Balochistan.
|Number of Rejected Candidates|
|Region||Total Constituencies||Constituencies Reporting||No. of Constituencies Where No Candidate Was Rejected||Number of Candidates Rejected|
Causes of Rejections
Most of the candidates (82) were rejected due to incomplete documentation. Sindh had the highest number (36) of such rejections, followed by Punjab (24), KP (nine), FATA (seven), ICT (five) and one in Balochistan.
In addition, 64 nomination papers were rejected on the basis of candidates being defaulters of various government departments. Twenty-eight rejections were reported in Punjab, 18 in Sindh, 14 in FATA and four in KP. However, no candidate was disqualified for being a defaulter in Balochistan and ICT.
Sixty nominations were rejected because of absence or non-verification of proposers and seconders. Twenty-three such cases were reported in Punjab, 15 in Sindh, 10 in ICT, seven in tribal areas, four in KP and one in Balochistan.
Fifty-one nominations were rejected due to issues of taxes and assets declaration. Most of the cases (41) were reported from Punjab, followed by Sindh (6), FATA (2) and KP and ICT (one each). No case was reported from Balochistan.
Moreover, 50 nominations were rejected due to the candidates’ absence during the scrutiny process. Of these, 30 cases were observed in Punjab, eight in Sindh, six in KP, three in Balochistan, two in FATA and one in ICT.
A total of 17 candidates were rejected on the basis of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. KP had the highest number (14) of such rejections, followed by two in FATA and one in Punjab. None of the candidates in Sindh, ICT and Balochistan were rejected on this ground.
Furthermore, 14 nominees were rejected as they were convicted in criminal cases. Six of them had filed their papers in Punjab, three each in Sindh and KP and two in Balochistan. FATA and ICT had no such rejections.
Thirteen nominations were rejected because the candidates were serving in the government. Of these, six rejections were in FATA, three in Sindh and two each in KP and Punjab. No such rejections were reported from ICT and Balochistan.
Inability to answer Returning Officers’ questions correctly caused 12 rejections of which nine were in Punjab and three in KP. Sindh, Balochistan, FATA and ICT saw no such rejections.
Additionally, 11 candidates were rejected for possessing dual nationality. Of these, eight belonged to Punjab, while three were from Sindh. Balochistan, KP, ICT and tribal areas had no cases of dual nationals contesting the elections.
Ten candidates were rejected for having fake degrees. Six of them belonged to Punjab, while KP and FATA each had two such candidates.
Eight candidates were disqualified for being underage. Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan each had two such candidates while, FATA and KP had one candidate each. Also, 18 nominations were rejected due to miscellaneous reasons, nine of which were in Punjab, three each in Sindh and KP, two in ICT and one in tribal areas.
FAFEN observers however, could not note the cause of 44 rejections, while the ROs did not share the information with the observers in 20 cases – 14 in Sindh, three in Punjab, two in KP and one in Balochistan. The following table and chart summarize FAFEN’s observation on candidates’ rejections:
|Reasons for Candidates being Rejected|
|Defaulter of Different Departments/Utility Bills etc.||28||18||0||4||14||0||64|
|Issues of Proposers and Seconders||23||15||1||4||7||10||60|
|Assets/Paid taxes not Declared||41||6||0||1||2||1||51|
|Absence During Scrutiny Process||30||8||3||6||2||1||50|
|Not Shared by RO||3||14||1||2||0||0||20|
|Article 62 or 63||1||0||0||14||2||0||17|
|Did not respond/give correct answers to RO||9||0||0||3||0||0||12|
The data of challenges against candidates came from 199 constituencies across the country, of which 107 were in Punjab, 50 in Sindh, 24 in KP, 10 in FATA, six in Balochistan and two in ICT. The CLTOs did not get any data from 68 constituencies, 36 of which were in Punjab, 11 each in Sindh and KP, eight in Balochistan and one each in FATA and Frontier Regions.
|Number of Constituencies Reporting and Not Reporting|
|Region||Total Constituencies||Constituencies Reported||Constituencies Not Reported||Name of Constituencies Not Reported|
|Punjab||143||107||36||NA-53, NA-55, NA-61, NA-65, NA-66, NA-67, NA-70, NA-73, NA-82, NA-88, NA-89, NA-91, NA-93, NA-108, NA-112, NA-114, NA-115, NA-134, NA-136, NA-138, NA-141, NA-146, NA-147, NA-156, NA-162, NA-163, NA-165, NA-166, NA-174, NA-189, NA-191, NA-192, NA-193, NA-194, NA-195 & NA-196|
|Sindh||61||50||11||NA-209, NA-212, NA-219, NA-220, NA-221, NA-226, NA-231, NA-233, NA-239, NA-250 & NA-254|
|Balochistan||14||6||8||NA-259, NA-261, NA-265, NA-266, NA-267, NA-270, NA-271 & NA-272|
|KP||35||24||11||NA-3, NA-4, NA-8, NA-14, NA-15, NA-19, NA-21, NA-23, NA-30, NA-31 & NA-32|
Of the 199 reporting constituencies, no challenges were filed in 168 constituencies. A total of 85 challenges were filed in the remaining 31 constituencies.
|Number of Challenged Candidates|
|Region||Total Constituencies||Constituencies Reporting||Number of Constituencies Where No Candidate Challenged||Number of Candidate Challenged|
Basis of Challenges
Out of a total of 85 challenges made across the country, 12 were made against candidates’ assets declaration. Eleven of these challenges were made in Punjab and one in Sindh.
Another 11 challenges – 10 in Punjab and one in Sindh – were made on the grounds of fake degrees, while eight nominations, all in Punjab, were challenged for wrong information provided by candidates.
Seven nominations (five in Sindh and one each in KP and Punjab) were challenged on the basis of corruption. A similar number of challenges, all in Punjab, were made on basis of candidates being bank defaulters.
Moreover, six challenges each were made on the grounds of payable dues and criminal cases against candidates. All the 12 cases were reported from Punjab. Four challenges – three in Punjab and one in Sindh – were made on basis of Article 62 & 63.
Furthermore, three challenges – two in KP and one in Punjab – were made on grounds of incomplete information filed by candidate, while income tax evasion and acquisition of land reserved for mosque contributed to one challenge each in KP. In addition, a candidate holding dual nationality formed basis of one challenge in Punjab.
FAFEN observers could not identify the basis of eight challenges, while the Returning Officers did not share the grounds of 10 challenges with the CLTOs. The following table and chart summarize FAFEN’s observation of nomination challenges:
|Number of Candidates Challenged by Basis|
|Assets not Declared||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Article 62 & 63||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|Acquire Land of Mosque||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1|
The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), established in 2006, is a coalition of 42 leading civil society organizations working to strengthen all forms of democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. Governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA), FAFEN also implements robust programs in-between elections related to monitoring parliamentary affairs, connecting constituents to their elected representatives, monitoring the performance of public and elected institutions and advocating electoral and democratic reforms.
FAFEN Election Program
FAFEN is implementing a long-term election observation program nationwide, including both pre and post-electoral processes. FAFEN has deployed almost 400 District and Constituency Long-Term Observers (DLTOs and CLTOs) across the country to monitor all phases of elections. In addition, FAFEN will deploy more than 43,000 trained, non-partisan citizens to monitor polling stations across the country on Election Day. FAFEN’s 10-month observation process, which began on February 1, 2013, helps keep all election stakeholders informed on issues relevant to fairness and transparency at every stage of the election process.
FAFEN Election Observation Methodology
FAFEN’s election observation activities are based on the Constitution and laws of Pakistan, global best practice standards for elections, as well as the legal obligations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Pakistan in 2010. All FAFEN observers adhere to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Code of Conduct for National Observers as well as the Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations (April 2012). FAFEN LTOs use standardized checklists to report electronically to the FAFEN Election Observation Secretariat in Islamabad regularly. FAFEN compiles data and information from around the country to issue regular thematic updates for the consideration of voters and election stakeholders.
FAFEN LTOs monitor and report on the activities of District Election Commissioners (DECs) and other ECP officials related to preparations for elections, including appointment and training of election officials, and the process of candidate nominations. LTOs also observe compliance with the ECP’s Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates, and compliance of the executive branch with legal responsibilities and ECP regulations, including restrictions on transfers of civil service personnel and initiation of new development schemes. In addition, LTOs monitor political and electoral intimidation and violence, the actions of the police and other security forces, and the overall political environment during the pre-election period.
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