Polling ends for third phase of LG elections in Karachi, Punjab


KARACHI: Polling for 18 districts of Karach and Punjab for the third and final phase of local government (LG) elections ended with some incidents of violence and mismanagement.
Earlier, polling for the third and final phase of local government elections in 12 districts of Punjab and six of Karachi began at 7.30am on Saturday amid tight security.
The Election Commission had rejected the request of several political parties to extend the polling time beyond 5.30pm.
Almost all the polling stations in the six districts of Karachi have been declared ‘sensitive’ for security reasons, with only 234 of the 4,141 stations categorised as normal.
In the 12 districts of Punjab, 9,970 of the 14,012 polling stations have been declared ‘normal’. An official said 964 polling stations in the province were highly sensitive and 3,078 sensitive in the districts of Layyah, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Khushab, Multan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalpur.
The Election Commission has established a control room in Islamabad which will work till the finalisation of election results.
MQM, PTI point out irregularities in Karachi
In a press conference Saturday afternoon, senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar said more than 50 polling volunteers from MQM have been attacked at 25 polling stations in Karachi.
In Landhi, he said, fake ballots are being cast, and despite repeated complaints, no institution has responded or shown up for assistance.
“Around 25 polling stations have been taken over by unauthorised personnel,” he said.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Ali Zaidi, while present inside a polling station to cast his vote, told media personnel that not a single official was present inside.
He said political party agents from the PPP and the PTI were officiating the polling process, which was a blatant violation of rules.
Karachi: Rangers, police arrest fake polling staff
Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) claimed to have arrested three persons for posing as polling staff at Parsi school in Nishtar Park area, said a press release.
A fake presiding officer card was recovered from a man named Ashraf Abbas and a fake assistant presiding officer card from Muhammad Hassan, said the statement. Another man arrested for posing as polling staff was Shah Zaman, an MQM worker of unit 51, PIB sector, said the paramiltiary force.
Rangers using magisterial powers handed down three months in prison to the said persons, the handout added.
SSP-East, in a statement, said three fake polling officers at UC-27, who said they were appointed by the returning officer, were arrested.
Of the three men, Sajid Ali, is also an independent candidate, and had no official authority to preside as a polling officer at Kids Junior University Gulshan-e-Johar, where he was present, said police.
The other two men are Syed Muhammad Bakar and Muhammad Mehdi. A case is being registered against all three.