NADRA issues report on voters’ thumb verification regarding PS-128

Karachi: The report of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Thursday revealed that out of the total 45324 votes polled in provincial assembly constituency (PS-128) won by candidate of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), thumb impressions on 20814 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because of poor quality of fingers prints.

The Nadra report came on election petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Sultan Khan Johri, who challenged the victory of MQM’s candidate Waqar Shah.

Waqar Shah emerged successful after receiving 23,828 votes, whereas his opponent Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi from the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz received 23,617 votes.

The petitioner, PML-N’s defeated candidate alleged massive rigging in the polling in the constituency and sought verification of the thumb impressions on the ballots.

Election Tribunal at Karachi headed by former judge Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani on 2 October 2013 had directed Nadra to verify the thumbprints of the voters on ballots papers and submit report.

It may be mentioned here that polling could not be held in six polling stations on the 1st May 2013 due to a bomb blast. On election candidates’ request the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had carried out re-polling at the respective polling stations of PS-128 in June 2013.

Nadra received election material (counterfoils, photo electoral rolls and statement of count) of 78 polling stations which was inclusive of 6 polling stations where re-polling was carried out.

Nadra report said that a total of 45,342 counterfoils were sent to the Nadra for the verification out of which 13807 ballots were successfully authenticated as the finger prints affixed on the counterfoils at the time of issuance of ballot paper correctly matched with the finger print data of registered voters.

The report revealed that the thumb impression on 20814 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because the fingers prints were of very poor quality. However, number mentioned on such counterfoils having bad thumb impressions were valid CNIC.

It said that 10721 ballot papers did not qualify for finger print matching due to numerous reasons. It said that no counterfoil was found where someone else has voted against eligible voter.

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