KARACHI: According to unofficial and unconfirmed results, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Saeed Ghani won the by-elections for the Sindh Assembly constituency PS-114 here on Sunday, ARY News reported.
The PPP candidate has reportedly bagged more than 23,800 votes. The party supporters resorted to celebrations as congratulations poured in after the unofficial results of all the 92 polling stations were announced.
— Senator Saeed Ghani (@SaeedGhani1) July 9, 2017
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Kamran Tessori stood runner-up with over 18,000 votes, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidate secured 5,098 votes and Pakistan Muslim League-N’s candidate managed to get 5,353 votes.
Voting for the by-election ended at its designated time amid allegations of rigging and scattered incidents of chaos in different polling stations.
The polling began at 8am without any delay. All polling stations in the constituency have been declared sensitive.
Here is how PPP leaders congratulated Saeed Ghani on Twitter
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) July 9, 2017
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) July 9, 2017
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) July 9, 2017
— Sharmila faruqi (@sharmilafaruqi) July 9, 2017
Patang phat gaee, Bala toot gaya, sher zakhmi hogaya. Ek teer sai teen shikaar. Jeay Bhutto. Teer chal gaya.
— sharjeel inam memon (@sharjeelinam) July 9, 2017
Polling disrupts after workers clash
The polling process was suspended for half an hour at Chanesar Goth polling station after clashes erupted between the activists of PPP and MQM-P.
The polling was resumed after authorities intervened in the matter and additional Rangers contingent was called in. The activists chanted slogans against each other. Acting swiftly, Rangers personnel intervened in the matter and arrested 11 activists causing disruption in the polling process. Talking to ARY News, MQM leader Mehfoozyar Khan accused PPP activists of casting bogus votes.
However, no major incident of violence was reported.
At least 21 candidates contested the by-poll including Saeed Ghani, Kamran Tesori, PTI’s Engineer Najeeb Haroon, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Zahoor Ahmed Jadoon and PML-N’s Ali Akbar Gujjar.
MQM accuses PPP of rigging
PPP accuses Polling officer of using delaying tactics to discourage voters
Casting his vote at Chanesar Polling Station, PPP senator Saeed Ghani accused polling officer of barring the PPP’s polling agents from entering the polling station.
He alleged poll workers of deterring voters from polling by using delaying tactics by design at Chanesar Goth polling station, as what he claimed the locality being the party’s stronghold. The PPP’s candidate also accused the polling staff of misconduct with party’s female activists and other women of his family.
Moreover, the media men were also not allowed to enter the polling stations despite of having the passes.
Polling Station no 32, booth no 1, UC 1 Akhtar Cly APO intentionally using delay tactics to dicourage voters.#PS114
— Senator Saeed Ghani (@SaeedGhani1) July 9, 2017
Media briefing by DG Sindh Rangers
Talking to media at Chanesar Goth polling station after clashes, Sindh Rangers Director General (DG) General Mohammad Saeed said that the paramilitary force received reports of clashes and tense situation at one polling station out of 92 others in the constituency. He declared the situation under control.
He confirmed arrests of two persons on suspicion of their involvement in clashes.
“The one person was arrested when he was trying to cast his vote again while another was taken into custody for possessing a 9mm pistol,” the DG Rangers said.
He said the Rangers got mandate to oversee the entire polling process while reiterating voters to exercise their right of casting votes without fear.
Strict security measures have been taken to ensure smooth voting process in the polling station. The celebration before the camp of opponents and display of weapons have been banned under the section 144, imposed to avoid any untoward incident.
Besides police, around 2,000 paramilitary personnel have also been deployed in and around 92 polling stations in the constituency after being declared sensitive in terms of security.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), there are a total of 193,000 registered voters in the constituency.
Modern system put in place for PS-114 by-poll to avoid vote fraud
A day before by-election polling, the provincial election commissioner, Rana Pervez, on Saturday announced to incorporate the ‘Result Management System’ in the PS-114 by-election to avoid any sort of tampering in polling results.
He was talking to media when he said that the election commission would use the modern technology for the first time to transmit the result forms directly from polling stations to the election commission office in Islamabad.
He asserted provision of Android mobile phones to the presiding officers to capture images of the forms and transmit the data electronically directly to election commission in Islamabad. The election commission officer also asserted that there would be a ban on use of mobile phones inside the polling stations in the constituency except for the presiding officers.
Areas in PS-114
The constituency comprises localities of Mehmoodabad No 1 to Mehmoodabad No 6, Manzoor Colony, Defence View, Chanesar Goth, Akhtar Colony, KAECHS (Karachi Administration Employees Cooperative Housing Society), and Kashmir Colony.
Three mainstream political parties are going head to head in the contest which include Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
In the May 2013 general elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Irfanullah Marwat had won the PS-114 seat after defeating MQM candidate Rauf Siddiqui.
Siddiqui had challenged the results of elections in the constituency before the election tribunal and sought verification of the votes to dig out illegalities during the election process.
Upon his request, the tribunal had directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to carry out verification of 92,731 votes polled in the constituency.
NADRA’s report disclosed that 17,504 of the polled votes were bogus as they were either cast by someone else or had invalid national identity card numbers. Following the NADRA’s report, election tribunal ordered for holding re-election in the constituency.
Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 11 this year upheld the election tribunal’s verdict of holding re-election in Sindh Assembly constituency PS-114 in Karachi.