By-elections: Polling ends for 21 seats of National, provincial assemblies amid clashes

Pakistan Apr, 22 2024
By-elections: Polling ends for 21 seats of National, provincial assemblies amid clashes
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Lahore: Polling for by-elections in 21 constituencies of National and provincial assemblies across country has ended at 5pm with reports of clashes among voters of two main parties, PML-N and Sunni Ittehad Council, from various areas of Punjab.

Voting commenced at scheduled time of 8am and culminated at 5pm. By-elections were held in five constituencies of National Assembly and 16 seats of three provincial assemblies. At some polling stations, large number of voters were reported, while others painted deserted look even couple of hours into polling process.

Polling in PK-91 Kohat was held at very slow pace, while voters turned out in large numbers to polling stations in PB-20 Khuzdar constituency of Balochistan. Both young and old people, men and women, could be seen standing in queues under sun to cast their votes.  In Kasur’s NA-132 constituency, turnout was reported to be low due to wheat harvesting. In PP-266 constituency of Sadiqabad also, polling process was slow, while turnout of women voters has been negligible. Voters are reportedly facing difficulties due to mobile phone service suspension.

Turnout of voters has been negligible in NA-44 of Dera Ismail Khan, showing people’s disinterest in by-elections. This seat was vacated by KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur.  Similar trend has been witnessed in Gujrat’s PP-32, where polling process is reported to be slow owing to lack of interest among voters.

Most of polling stations are seen deserted, with no voters showing up.  Punjab Police closed road for all kinds of traffic by placing container. Due to this, voters from Bhakkar living in DI Khan are facing problems casting their ballots in by-election in PP-93 of Bhakkar.  NA-8 Bajaur:  Mubarak Zeb contested as an independent candidate against Sunni Ittehad Council’s Gul Zafar.

NA-44 Dera Ismail Khan:  PPP’s Khorsheed Kundi is up against independent candidate Faisal Amin, KP Chief Minister’s brother, for this seat.

NA-119 Lahore:  PML-N’s Ali Pervez Malik and Sunni Ittehad Council’s Shahzad Farooq, were vying for this seat.

NA-132 Kasur:  PML-N’s Malik Rasheed was contesting against Sardar Muhammad Hussain Dogar of Sunni Ittehad Council.

NA-196 Kambar Shahdadkot: PPP’s Khursheed Junejo and Muhammad Ali Brohi of TLP are among candidates in this constituency.

Punjab Assembly

PML-N’s Malik Riaz and Muhammad Khan Madni. Similarly, for PP-149, competition is among 14 candidates, including Shoaib Siddiqui of Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party and Qaiser Shehzad.

For PP-158, PML-N candidate Chaudhry Nawaz and Moonis Elahi of Sunni Ittehad Council.

Meanwhile, in PP-164, 20 PML-N’s Rashid Minhas and Muhammad Yousuf of Sunni Ittehad Council were for tight electoral battle.

In Wazirabad’s PP-36 constituency, PML-N’s Adnan Afzal Chattha contested against SIC’s Fayaz Chattha,.

In PP-154 Zafarwal constituency, In PP-290 Dera Ghazi Khan, PML-N, PPP and PTI.were contesting.

Moreover, 49 candidates are contesting for two seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, PK-22 Bajaur and PK-91 Kohat.

PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council’s Dawar Afridi and independent candidate Imtiaz Qureshi, were among 10 candidates in running here. For two seats of Balochistan Assembly, PB-20 Khuzdar and PB-22 Lasbela various parties candidates were in field.

Civil armed forces and military personnel were deployed to provide fool-proof security, with Army serving as quick response force until April 22.

Published in The Daily National Courier, April, 22 2024

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