HYDERABAD: The re-polling process in Sanghar’s PS-81 constituency, which has a total of 127,228 registered voters, concluded peacefully on Wednesday where people cast their votes at the 122 polling stations set up in the area.
In view of the past allegations of rigging levelled by the contenders, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had deployed army and rangers at the polling stations to prevent rigging or any untoward incidents.
The re-election was announced after the Supreme Court disqualified Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) candidate, Muhammad Khan Junejo, who had won the May 11 polls, on May 17. Junejo was disqualified because of his dual nationality.
The constituency, like always, witnessed a close contest between the PPP candidate, Asghar alias Junaid Junejo, and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s (PML-F) Jam Madad Ali.
Ali, who had served as leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly in the previous tenure, was elected twice from the constituency in the 2002 and 2008 elections but he lost the May 11 polls.
Talking to the media in village Balu Khan Malkani, the PML-F leader accused the PPP for posting its favourite officers in the district. “The new deputy commissioner, SSP and SHOs of three police stations were posted mere days before the elections. They used the dirty tactics and rigging to win the May 11 elections.” However, he expressed hope that the presence of army would ensure transparency in the elections.
PPP MNA Shazia Mari, on her part, alleged that the Jam family was snatching identity cards of minority voters and peasants who were PPP supporters, on May11. “Today’s ‘free’ elections will prove that the Jam family always rigged their way to victory in the past,” she said while talking to reporters in Sanghar.
According to the progressive results collected from 32 polling stations, Ali is leading with more than 13,000 votes to his name. PPP’s Junejo has so far managed to bag just over 7,000 votes.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2013.
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