NA-246: By-Election Close, Results Awaited

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Thursday, 23 April 2015 17:49

KARACHI: Residents of Karachi’s NA-246 constituency began casting votes from 8am today till 5pm for candidates contesting by-elections on a seat left vacant by Nabil Gabol, an estranged leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Imran Ismail, Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Rashid Nasim and Usman Moazzam are contesting for the coveted NA-246 seat vacated by former MQM leader Nabil Gabol.

No major incidents were reported throughout the day. However, there were reports of delays at polling stations with MQM leader Farooq Sattar alleging that the voting process was deliberately being delayed to keep people from casting votes.

Further, two presiding officers and a female voter were arrested for allegedly attempting to cast bogus votes at the Delhi School. One of the presiding officers namely Syed Majid Ali was sentenced to three months in prison with a Rs5,000 fine. Meanwhile, Rehan Ahmed had been handed 6 months imprisonment and a Rs5,000 fine.

Following the delays, MQM candidate Kunwar Naveed repeatedly pressed for an extension in polling time. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan turned down his request. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was satisfied with the polling process with party chief Imran Khan claiming the by-polls could not have been held in a free and fair manner without Rangers supervision.

Unofficial reports confirm MQM's lead with PTI and JI to follow.

The election commission staff was deployed at 213 polling stations since Wednesday evening after the ballot boxes, papers, and bags were brought via passenger buses, amid tight security. Presiding officers of each polling station received the material from the District Central deputy commissioner’s office.

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