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Polling continues for Local Bodies elections in Sindh and Punjab. Army called in Faisalabad

Polling continues for Local Bodies elections in Sindh and Punjab

By Agha Iqrar Haroon from Lahore, Matiullah Khan from Islamabad, Zain Abideen from Karachi and Manzoor Hussain from Faisalabad 

Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Pakistan: Local Bodies (LB) elections polling started in 20 districts of Sindh and Punjab peacefully at 7.30 am morning. Polling is being held in 12 districts of Punjab and eight districts of Sindh in first phase.

Polling could not stop till the filling of this report at 70 polling stations of Shikarpur Sindh.

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LB polls in Punjab’s 12 districts on Saturday

Gujrat and Faisalabad had reports about violence and three workers of Ch. Sher Ali were injured at Kaleem Shaheed polling station in Faisalabad. Army was called at UC-214 Faisalabad after firing incidents.

Polling was canceled in Bhakhar due to wrong printing of symbols of candidates.

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Polling continues for Local Bodies elections in Sindh and Punjab. Army called in Faisalabad

Four persons were injured in a firing incident in Burewala.

Pakistan Army and Rangers are performing their duties as quick response force and patrol around sensitive polling stations. 3551 polling stations in Punjab declared highly sensitive.

This is first time Local Bodies elections are being held on party basis in Pakistan to place basic democracy at grass root level through political parties.

Khairpur Sindh polling stations were allegedly taken over by PML (Functional) and workers of Pir of Pagaro Sharif and ruling party PPP was helpless to protect its candidates.

Chief Election Commission Sardar Raza has said that provincial governments should make LB polls transparent keeping their political affiliations aside. ROs should work in interest of the country impartially. He said that candidates and media should play their role for transparent polls. He said that ECP has empowered Army and Rangers to assist civil administration for maintaining law and order situation for the conduct of peaceful and transparent elections.

According to early morning reports, heavy turnout is being reported from Lahore and Faisalabad where thousands of voters reached polling stations early morning to cast their votes.

Meanwhile, ECP also received complaints about printing of wrong symbols and some places district administration was accused for supporting certain candidates belonging to sitting provincial governments.  Dispatch News Desk reporting team reported tense atmosphere at Samsani Union Council of Lahore where PTI and PMLN workers were close to fight with each other. There are claims that district administrations of Gujrat in Punjab and Shikarpur in Sindh are supporting their blue eyed candidates.

 

ECP has directed the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Sindh to take notice of complaints in these districts and ensure free, fair and transparent elections and take action against the officials involved in this practice.

Inspector Generals of Police in Punjab and Sindh have also been asked to take action against the people who are violating ECP’s code of conduct and trying to harass the election staff, he added. However real brother of Inspector General Punjab Police was elected unopposed on the ticket of ruling PMLN that indicates close relations of his family with PMLN and hampers his impartiality.

Faisalabad Local Bodies elections are very interesting where two strong groups of PMLN are contesting against each other. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan group is fighting against Ch. Sher Ali whose son is federal state minster.

As many as 20,121,921 voters would use their right of franchise in LG elections of Punjab with 11,345,245 male voters among them and 8,776,676 female.

4,617,024 voters are registered in eight districts of Sindh with 2,524,682 male and 2,092,322 female voters. ECP has also deputed around 155,000 election staff for conducting elections in 20 districts of Punjab and Sindh.

It may be mentioned that 707 candidates were elected unopposed in the first phase of local government elections.

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