After reports emerged of some polling stations in PP-243 experiencing law and order situation, where ballot papers were snatched, and the presiding officers were threatened in Dera Ghazi Khan, the acting Chief Election Commissioner ordered that results be withheld.
The acting Chief Election Commissioner, Shakirullah Jan took notice of the malpractice at some of the polling stations in Dera Ghazi Khan and withheld the results.
Earlier, before the suspension, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid had won PP-243 and PP-245 by elections held on Monday.
Despite heavy deployment of security personnel, they were not able to control the situation properly and according to reports, scuffles kept breaking out at polling stations all day.
According to the presiding officer of a polling station established in Bast Kalairi, PP-243, supporters of PML-N snatched five copies of ballot papers comprising 500 votes. They reportedly repeated the act in the adjoining female polling station. The presiding officer, calling for additional protection said that his life had also been threatened.
In Basti Ranjhey wala and Ladan PML-N’s supporters extorted two copies of ballot papers while PM-N supporters snatched ballot papers from presiding officer at polling station 74 Koocha Wadani of PP-243.
Polling also remained suspended due to a reported fight between workers of PML-N and PML-Q at polling station 63 Primary School in Dhamraya Waala.
Meanwhile, independent candidate Imtiaz Leghari of Leghari group alleged that PML-N had managed to win the seat by rigging and by use of force of gun. He further claimed that at Zai polling station, its polling agent was forcibly kept outside by PML-N supporters. He said that in Basti Kalairi, the presiding officer lodged a written complaint against the supporters of PML-N.
Before the suspension, official results showed that Hassamuddin Khosa, son of Senator Zulfiqar Khosa, had won from PP-243 securing 25518 votes. He beat his nearest competitor, independent candidate Imtiaz Leaghari, who managed to secure 19205 votes.
Leghari was being backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and major leaders of the powerful Leghari family in Dera Ghazi Khan. PP-243 had been vacated after the resignation of senior PML-N leader and senior advisor to former Chief Minister Punjab, Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, who was elected as senator on a PML-N ticket.
Meanwhile in PP-245 by elections, Muhammad Khan Leghari of PML (Q) secured 24584 votes, beating his opponent Mirza Talpur of PML-N who had secured 11784 votes. The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Mohsin Leghari. He had been elected as senator. Meanwhile Zeeshan Leghari, an independent candidate, secured 9026 votes.
Total registered voters in PP-243 number 134325 including 80888 male voters and 53437 female voters. 102 polling stations were set up for the by-elections.
Total registered voters in PP-245 are 130758 including 70456 male and 53302 female voters. 122 polling stations were set up for the by-elections.
47 polling stations were declared as highly sensitive, while 73 were declared as sensitive.
1700 police personnel of Punjab police force and about 350 of border military police were deputed to ensure the law and order situation.
In Dera Ghazi Khan district, a public holiday was declared for the by-elections.
Low voter turnout
A low voting turnout was observed for the by-elections, despite the district enjoying a public holiday in order to increase voter turnout.
Voter turn out in PP-243 remained as low as 35% as compared to 55% turn out in last general elections in 2008. Voting turn out in PP-245 remain as low as 30% as compared to 50% voting turn out during the last general elections in 2008.
The reason behind Low vote casting ratio was observed as the people were engaged in harvesting of wheat crop. Despite this, there hundred people were seen per cent casting ratio in some of the polling stations where influential rigged the election for example at Zai, Basti kalairi, Kot habit, Samina etc.
According presiding officer of polling station Bast Kalairi, PP-243, supporters of PML (N) snatched five copies of ballot papers comprising 500 votes while they have done same job in adjacent female polling station while actual casting was only 13 votes. Presiding officer had also told that he had threat to his life and we need protection here.
In Basti Ranjhey wala and Ladan PML-N’s supporters extorted two copies of ballot papers while PML-N supporters snatched ballot papers from presiding officer at polling station 74 Koocha Wadani of PPP-243.
Polling remain suspended due to fight between workers of PML-N and PML-Q at Polling station 63 primary school Dhamraya Waala