Results of PP-243 withheld following reports of rigging, violence at by-elections

Published: May 8, 2012

There were reports of some ballots being snatched and a presiding officer being threatened. PHOTO: FILE

DERA GHAZI KHAN: 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

Reader Comments (14)

  • Mirza
    May 8, 2012 - 2:17AM

    Like the 38 Billion Rs., the ballot papers are also disappearing during the rule of Sharifs. Yet they have the best corruption free govt. No worries the SC is never going to go aganist Sharifs.

    Recommend

  • May 8, 2012 - 2:35AM

    PML N’s real face

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    May 8, 2012 - 2:38AM

    When PMLN has to resort to rigging in its stronghold, it should rethink its claim to be representative of people.

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  • blithe
    May 8, 2012 - 2:54AM

    Just FYI

    It was PML N against a combined joint csndidate supported by PPP , PTI and PML Q .
    candidate.

    So the assertion that PPP and PTI are in bed is very much true.

    Recommend

  • blithe
    May 8, 2012 - 3:04AM

    Awais Leghari was a busy bee today at the polling station today. he was working for Imtiaz Leghari on PP243. Imtiaz was joint candidate of PPP, Q-League and PTI. and in PP245 PTI in shape of Awais Legari ( who IK has not asked to resign from parliament), , was supporting Zeeshan Haidar Leghari.

    The new paradigm is crsystal clear
    PPP plus hypocritical PTI plus PML Q against PML N

    Mark my words , even when there is re balloting ,
    PML N will win by a large margin .

    Recommend

  • Imran
    May 8, 2012 - 3:10AM

    When someone can make his Ex-wife disappear and flout the law that no one can touch him, then rigging an election is nothing in comparison.

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  • Usman
    May 8, 2012 - 4:56AM

    The only way PML and PPP know how to get to power is by poll rigging. Finally some action from the ECP. Too long has it acted as a pawn for the ruling parties to get to power.Recommend

  • Omer
    May 8, 2012 - 5:05AM

    This is a glimpse of what will happen in the coming election. Rigging and fraud will mark our so called democractic parties.

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  • Azim
    May 8, 2012 - 5:09AM

    Seems like a full-dress rehearsal for the things to come in next elections! Rigging, low turnout, stealing of ballot paper

    I am sad, because its not the leadership but our people who I am loosing hope with. I hope the silent majority comes out a makes a difference, by shifting the power in favour of honest tough un-tested but passionate leadership.

    Pakistan Zindabad.

    Recommend

  • QB
    May 8, 2012 - 5:36AM

    These are the so called champions of democracy. I always wonder how can people of Pakistan be so foolish to vote for these thugs of PPP; PML-N/Q; MQM etc. But guess we all know that people of Pakistan are not foolish. They don’t vote for these guys, it just that our leaders don’t need our votes to win. They can just use a few thugs to win them the elections.

    Pakistanis please wake up now. Stop this self destruction. Go for change. To me PTI is the only relatively clean party at this time.

    Recommend

  • Adnan
    May 8, 2012 - 6:01AM

    In my opinion, PML (N) is losing popularity and that’s why Punjab Government tried some ballot paper snatching and rigging in this by-election. Even then, they lost one seat to PML(Q).

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 8, 2012 - 7:38AM

    Disqualify the offending candidate.
    It is the only way to fix the problem.

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  • Tufail
    May 8, 2012 - 10:42AM

    Very innocent of our correspondent to think the turn out was LOW because of heat and harvesting season. Isnt it clear that the hatred for the contestors is what deterred the masses from even bothering to go for voting. they knew what will happen. rigging, ballot paper snatching, life threatening and downright disgusting behaviour by the cronies of the contestors. but obviously nothing is going to be done about it :)

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  • Adnan
    May 8, 2012 - 4:44PM

    Remember the Lahore by election of 2010 when N was caught red handed stuffing the ballot a day before… The case is with the ECP but no decision was made on it… The biggest challenge in the next elections is whether ECP is independent enough to hold free and fair elections.
    The media was not present in yesterday’s by elections either. We expect prompt action against anyone who cheats or stuffs the votes because otherwise we will never have genuine ppl. coming into power.

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