Counting of votes underway in NA-75

Counting of votes underway in NA-75

Picture collage of Asjad Malhi of the PTI and Nosheen Iftikhar of the PML-N. Photos: file

SIALKOT: The polling for the much-awaited by-elections has finally come to an end at the National Assembly constituency NA-75 Sialkot-IV, Daska, and the counting of results is underway. 

The hotly-contested polls predominately focused on PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi and PML-N’s Nosheen Iftikhar.

According to unofficial, preliminary results from some of the polling stations,  PML-N’s Nosheen Iftikhar is currently in the lead with  2,730 votes. On the other hand, Ali Asjad Malhi has so far secured 1,719 votes.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made all necessary administrative and electoral preparations for holding peaceful, free, and transparent elections.

For this purpose, 360 polling stations were set up in the constituency of which 47 had been declared highly sensitive. More than 4,000 police personnel and officers had been deployed at the polling stations, while Rangers were on standby to deal with any untoward incidents.

Ten teams of the Pakistan Army were also present at the constituency to assist the administration.

As per the details revealed by the ECP, a total of  4,94,003  voters (including 2,73,006 male and 2,20,997 female voters) registered for the election. Of 360, 106 polling stations were set up for men, 106 for women, and 148 joint polling stations (for both men and women).

The polling started at 8:00am and continued without any interruption till 5:00pm.

It should be recalled that the ECP had earlier declared the by-election of NA-75 Daska null and void.

After a full-fledged election campaign between the PML-N and the PTI in NA-75, the by-polls were initially held on February 19, 2021.

Supporters of both parties showed a lot of enthusiasm, so much so that it turned into chaos.

In addition to the chaotic situation outside of the polling booths, other controversies also surfaced. On the election night, 20 presiding officers failed to reach the office of the presiding officer and could not be contacted for the rest of the night.

On the other hand, both PTI and PML-N candidates contesting the by-polls from the constituency claimed to be victorious even before the official results were announced.

Later on,  the ECP  announced re-election to be held in the NA-75  constituency on March 18 but the Punjab government sought time to fill the vacant positions of administrative officers in the region.

Thereafter,  the commission announced that polling in NA-75 would be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

According to media reports, as soon as the polling time ended, voters who were inside the polling stations were allowed to cast their votes, whereas those who arrived after the closing time (5pm) were turned away. 

As per Geo News,  Asjad Malhi could not cast his vote either. It was also reported that the overall voter turnout in rural areas was low.

More to follow.

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