Low turnout, as re-polling at Karachi NA-250 ends

Voter turnout was low at almost all polling stations.

Afp/Web Desk May 19, 2013
Voters line up at a Karachi polling station. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Re-polling at 43 polling stations of Karachi NA-250 constituency concluded uneventfully at 5pm, reported Express News on Sunday.

Re-elections at two other provincial assembly constituencies, PS-112 and PS-113 also closed at the same time.

Around 86,316 voters were expected to cast their votes during the re-elections, but initial reports suggest voter turnout was low.

Two major parties, the MQM and the PPP had boycotted the re-elections, leaving only the PTI and a few independents as competitors in the constituency. The majority of those who came out to vote were PTI supporters Express News reported.

Troops, police and paramilitary rangers backed up by armoured personnel carriers guarded the 43 polling stations in the NA-250 constituency, following claims of ballot-stuffing during the May 11 general election.

A total of 5,000 security personnel were deployed inside and outside the polling stations, maintaining strict law and order.

An election official said turnout was initially assessed at more than 40 percent despite scorching weather and the gunning-down late Saturday of a PTI official.

"We want a change - a real change in our country because we are fed up with the current political set up, which is just disappointing," housewife Arifa Aslam told AFP as she waited in a long queue Sunday to cast her vote.

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4:05pm

The Express Tribune correspondent Noman Ahmed reports that several hundred voters were unable to cast votes at the polling station of Ismail Allahwala Secondary School located in Delhi Colony.

SM Talha - who was serving as the presiding officer - told The Express Tribune that a total of four polling stations, 111 to 114, were established at the school on May 11. According to the re-polling notification, however, only those voters will be allowed to cast votes whose names were registered at polling stations number 113 and 114, said Talha.

Many voters expressed disappointment as they claimed that extensive vote-rigging was carried out at all the four polling stations set-up in the school premises. “This all appears a drama as it is unjustified and unreasonable to allow the re-polling at two polling stations while leaving out the other two,” said Muhamamd Huzaifa who arrived to cast vote but could not find his name in the list.

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3:19pm

There has been only 35% voter turnout at polling station number 168 at DHA Girls College Phase VIII, reports Express News.


A polling agent shows only four votes cast at a polling station inside Aaisha Bawani Secondary School. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/ EXPRESS

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2:22pm

Voting at polling stations 140-144 at DHA Degree College for Men at Khayaban-e-Rahat was well-organised and smooth, reports The Express Tribune correspondent Zahrah Mazhar.

Army personnel were deployed around and inside the stations. The polling staff was also highly organised. Voter turnout, however, looked average as compared to the turnout on May 11.

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2:10pm

There is hardly 10% voter turnout at Bay View Junior School, Clifton block 9 polling station, reports The Express Tribune's Sohail Khattak.


PTI cupcakes being distributed outside a polling station. PHOTO: @MianFarhanUllah

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2:00pm

Voter turnout is still extremely low across polling stations.

Unlike May 11, security is tight for the ongoing re-elections.


Army presence inside NA-250 polling station. PHOTO: @ammarfaruki

At some polling stations, there is more security and media personnel present than voters.


Security at one polling station. PHOTO: @danahmedkhan


Security inside a polling station. PHOTO: @adeelabadshah

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Army visiting polling station on Khyaban-e-Mujahid around noon. PHOTO: @yaarakhaana

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11:12am

Voter turnout is relatively higher at polling stations number 100 and 101 in Aaisha Bawani Secondary School, with 39 votes cast so far, reports The Express Tribune correspondent Noman Ahmed.

There are no reports of security issues at any of the polling stations.

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11:08am

In all polling stations of PS-112, voters are complaining that their votes have been reshuffled and placed at other polling stations, which is causing them inconvenience, according to The Express Tribune correspondent Sohail Khattak.

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10:42am

Only one vote has been cast at polling station number 97 and 98, set up in Aaisha Bawani Secondary School since 8am, reports The Express Tribune correspondent Noman Ahmed.

Voter turnout remains low despite heavy security. Army personnel are deployed inside polling stations and police and Rangers outside the stations.

All polling agents are also present.

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10:00am

Voter turnout is low at polling station no. 11 in the Gari Khata area near Bolton Market, reports The Express Tribune correspondent Ali Ousat.

Police are snap-checking across the city to ensure security.

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Police personnel inside a polling station at DHA model school. PHOTO: @adeelabadshah

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9:25am

In Hijrat Colony, there were two polling stations – 56 and 57 – in Jamshed Ahmed Khan Lower Secondary School on May 11, but today, polling station number 57 has been shifted elsewhere, reports The Express Tribune correspondent Sohail Khattak.

Voters registered at polling station no. 57 are facing troubles as they are unaware of where their polling station is located.

Voters have also complained of not being able to cast their ballots using a copy of their CNIC. Presiding officer Hamid Raza at polling station no. 56 told The Express Tribune that he has strict instructions of only allowing voters to use their original CNIC to cast a vote.

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9:08am

Elections were abruptly cancelled at polling station number 138 in DHA Phase IV. The polling staff, when contacted, did not cite any reason for the issue.

Polling began as per schedule at polling station number 168 in DHA Phase VII, which was designated for men. Due to some confusion, women voters also arrived at polling station number 169, but were not allowed to vote as their votes were already cast on May 11.

The re-polling was announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after several parties and voters complained of rigging and severe mismanagement at NA-250 polling stations on May 11.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters held several protests demanding re-elections in all constituencies of Karachi, while Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) held demonstrations demanding the ECP to hold re-elections at all polling stations of NA-250.

After ECP's announcement of re-elections at 43 polling stations, the MQM boycotted the elections.

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COMMENTS (74)

SAMEER | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

DA Model School looks great will mr.alvi with his pa members manage to convert some schools of pNt colony or adjacent kachhi abadie of dha like DA MoDel School?? can theyy bring change in this regards ?

MJ | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

So the wrong we witnessed in NA-250 has been righted. Lets see if PTI will do a "dharna" in Punjab specially Lahore now to right the wrongs that were done in those polling stations as well. Or their leader has already done his "muk-muka" with Nawaz Sharif??

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