Local Govt Election re-held Across K-P
PESHAWAR / HANGU / ABBOTTABAD / DI KHAN / BANNU: The Election Commission of Pakistan will conduct local government re-polls in various polling stations of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday (today) in an attempt to fix irregularities reported during the May 30 polls.
According to a schedule released on July 12, re-polls were announced for 356 polling stations across the province. The schedule was released after the Peshawar High Court dismissed petitions filed against the LG polls and allowed the ECP leeway to conduct re-polls where shortcomings were reported.
According to ECP PRO Sohail Ahmad Khan, all necessary arrangements have been finalised to avoid a repeat of the violence and mismanagement reported during the May 30 elections. “Police and security officials will stand guard at polling stations during the voting process,” he added.
To the polls
The ECP official said as many as 465,600 men and 254,283 women registered voters can cast their votes in favour of their preferred LG candidates.
“Polling will commence at 7am sharp and end by 7pm,” he said. Sohail added around 360 presiding officers, 3,870 assistant presiding officers and 1,290 polling officers will be on duty. Owing to reports of women being barred from exercising the right to vote on May 30, around 170 polling stations with 771 booths have been reserved for women only.
The PRO said re-polls will be held in 16 union councils. “These include Karimpura, Yakatoot, Hazar Khwani, Musazai, Urmar Payan, Kakshal, Surizai Payan and Bazid Khel, in the provincial capital,” he added.
Nowshera DC told media 88 polling stations have been declared “most sensitive” in the district while Swabi DC Matiullah Khan said eight polling stations have been declared “most sensitive.”
Media ban withdrawn
Initially the Peshawar DC had announced a ban on the presence of media at polling stations. Members of media wanting to cover polls have been requested to gather at the DC office in the morning. An official spokesperson confirmed the decision, saying it will ensure smooth conduct of re-polls and maintain peace and stability.
However, after media uproar, the DC later withdrew the ban.
Women’s station excluded
Asif Khan, an independent candidate in Bannu, alleged the ECP excluded the women polling booth from Koti Sadat UC’s Bozakhel polling station at the last minute, depriving women in the locality of their constitutional right. Asif said he filed complaints with the relevant authorities. However, his efforts were to no avail.
The district administration in Hangu has declared Election Day a public holiday. According to Hangu DRO Syed Mujeebur Rehman, ballots will be cast in only three polling stations of Tall tehsil – one in Bogha Sharif UC and two in Doaba UC – where Section 144 will be imposed. Hangu DPO Anwar Saeed Kundi said heavy contingents of police will be deployed.
Ballots will be cast at 13 polling stations under the supervision of polling staff, security and police officials across Hazara division. Re-polls will be conducted at polling stations in Nara, Mohar Khurd, Tajwal, Aziz Bang, Desal and Banda Pir Khan areas of Abbottabad, Garhi Habibullah, Hangrai, Keewai, Karnol and Mahandri of Mansehra and Teer village in Haripur. At least 100 cops, led by a DSP, will man every station along with security officials. Video cameras have also been installed inside the stations to ensure transparency.
Section 144 has been imposed during re-polls that will be held at eight polling stations in DI Khan.
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