close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
May 8, 2021

Voter turnout 53pc in Khushab by-poll: FAFEN

 
May 8, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Notwithstanding hot weather and COVID-19 challenges, the PP-84 Khushab-III by-election on May 5 witnessed an improved election management and an encouraging turnout (52.99 per cent) with low incidence of procedural violations.

As many as 155,089 registered voters 86,178 (55.56 per cent) men and 68,911 (50.09 per cent) women – exercised their right to vote during the by-election. The election turnout, though encouraging for a by-election, was lower than 61.7 per cent turnout recorded in the general elections 2018.

The FAFEN’s trained citizen observers reported a total of 83 violations of electoral laws, rules, and various codes of conduct issued by the ECP, averaging less than one violation (0.9). The FAFEN deployed 28 non-partisan and duly-accredited observers 13 males and 15 females to observe the polling process at 88 polling stations (eight male, nine female, and 71 combined).

The compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 prevention showed a varied trend across the constituency with only 49 per cent of the observed polling stations strictly enforcing the SOPs. The majority of the observed violations were of ban on campaigning and canvassing in surroundings of the polling stations. FAFEN observers found candidates or contesting parties’ camps set up in the vicinity of 55 polling stations.

As far as polling station arrangements are concerned, 15 polling stations four female and 11 combined housed more than one booth in a single room making the space congested. The seating arrangements for the candidates’ polling agents at four polling stations were disabling them to observe the polling process first hand and raise any objections.

Though the overall voter turnout in the constituency was satisfactory, one polling station was observed with no votes cast at all during the first two hours of polling. Reportedly, the voters boycotted the poll in protest against unavailability of electricity in the polling area. The observers found election materials in adequate quantities at all of the observed polling stations. All due arrangements were made at the polling stations to protect the secrecy of voters except at one polling station where secrecy screens were placed improperly that allowed people inside polling booth to watch voters marking their choice on ballot paper.

The observers representing the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) asked voters how satisfied they were with the voting process. Voters outside 82 polling stations eight male, nine female, and 65 combined expressed satisfaction. In contrast, voters outside the remaining polling stations said they were partially satisfied.