Democratic process: Irregularities reported at PP-240 by-election

Published: August 19, 2016
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Polling stopped for some time at polling station 2, Government Primary School, after a scuffle broke out between supporters of two candidates.  PHOTO: AFP

Polling stopped for some time at polling station 2, Government Primary School, after a scuffle broke out between supporters of two candidates. PHOTO: AFP

MULTAN: PP-240 by-elections were held in Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan, on Thursday. The seat had fallen vacant when Shamoona Qaisrani who had been disqualified by an election tribunal for concealing her assets.

Mumtaz Ahmad Bhutto Qaisrani of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won the election.

This is the second time a by-election has been held in the constituency since the general elections in 2013. Meer Badshah Qaisrani had won the seat in 2013. Shamoona Umbreen Qaisrani was elected to the seat in a by-election held in October 2013.

As many as 16 candidates contested the by-election this time. Other than Mumtaz Ahmad Bhutto Qaisrani, independent candidates Khawaja Dawood and Barrister Imam Bakhsh Qaisrani were main players. Dawood was supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf and Bakhsh by Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam.

The number of voters in the constituency was 150,410 and 128 polling stations had been set up.

Officials said the 12 polling stations in tribal areas had been declared highly sensitive. Polling began at 8am and ended at 5pm.

At a polling station for women in Jatwala, some voters complained that there was no female staff and that the male polling agents were forcing them to cast votes for candidates they supported. They also complained to the police about other irregularities.

The Dera Ghazi Khan DPO arrived at the polling station to investigate. He called in a heavy contingent of Rangers and cops who pushed the men out of the polling station.

Polling stopped for some time at polling station 2, Government Primary School, after a scuffle broke out between supporters of two candidates.

Bakhsh Qaisarani’s supporters started firing at another candidate’s supporters at the Basti Hamlani polling station. One person was injured. Imam Bakhsh Qaisarani was apparently at the polling station when the shootout began. He tried to flee in a car which overturned. He was injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2016.

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