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National

Web Desk
September 17, 2017
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Polling ends, counting begins in key NA-120 bye-election

LAHORE: Polling ended at 220 polling stations of Lahore's NA-120 constituency at 5:00pm on Sunday.

The polling in the crucial bye-election of the NA-120 was held amid strict security without any reports of major issues here.

The voting process, which began at 08:00 am continued till 05:00 pm without any break and extension in voting time.

The contest is expected to be more interesting with high turn-out of voters due to their unprecedented enthusiasm shown during the election campaigns of respective political parties, which fielded their candidates to grab the NA-120 seat fallen vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif on July 28.

A polling staffer is seen supervising voting on biometric voting machine.
A polling staffer is seen supervising voting on biometric voting machine.

A total of 44 candidates including 32 independent and 12 from different political parties contested the NA-120 bye-election.

The real contest was between Begum Kulsoom Nawaz of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Dr. Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf. The other prominent candidates are Faisal Mir of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Ziauddin Ansari of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh of Milli Muslim League (MML).

According to the Election Comission of Pakistan, there were a total of 321,786 registered voters in the constituency with 179,642 male and 142,144 female for which the ECP had established 220 polling stations including 103 for male, 98 for female and 19 combined, where a total of 573 polling booths (312 for male and 261 for female) would facilitate the voters.

The election material such as ballot papers, ballot boxes, lists of voters, stationary was dispatched to all the polling stations in the constituency under the supervision of Pakistan Army.

The ECP said 220 Presiding Officers, 573 Assistant Presiding Officers and 573 Polling Officers performed duties.

The election commission had also set up seven monitoring teams with 20 officials from Islamabad and the four provinces to maintain the code of conduct and monitor biometric machines, they said and mentioned that 100 biometric voting machines placed on trial basis in 39 polling stations of the constituency. The results of these machines will not be included.

PTI Candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid during a visit to polling station.
PTI Candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid during a visit to polling station.

While visiting Kopar Road polling station, PTI Leader Dr Yasmin Rashid, had shown satisfaction with the arrangements done for NA-120. “I request the police to cooperate and facilitate the voters,” she said while talking to media.

A Geo News reporter talked to the polling agents of PTI and PML-N in a polling station and they appeared satisfied with the polling arrangements.

Plea to vote

PTI Chief Imran Khan had urged voters to come out and cast their vote. In a twitter post Sunday he said NA-120 poll 'will decide future course of the nation and coming generations'.

No ban on media

The media of Pakistan Army had issued a statement saying that there is no ban on media coverage of the polling and those media persons having valid permits of the ECP can enter the polling stations. The clarification came after reports that media was not allowed to enter the polling stations.

Kulsoom, Yasmin could not cast vote

Top rival candidates Kulsoom Nawaz and Dr Yasmin Rashid did not cast their votes in the election. Kulsoom Nawaz is out of country for her treatment, while Dr Yasmin Rashid's vote is not registered in NA-120 constituency.

MPS, MNAs barred

Secretary Election Commission Babar Yaqoob Shaikh on Sunday directed the Punjab police chief to stop public representatives from entering in polling stations.

According to the ECP spokesperson, the Secretary had directed the IGP to stop the people from entry of polling stations irrespective of their affiliations with any political party.

 

 

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