Votes cast in the elections for cantonment boards across Pakistan are being counted, with a majority of the results in.
So far, PTI is in the lead with 67 seats, followed by PML-N which has won 52 and independent candidates who have won 49 seats.
Among the Opposition parties, PPP has won 14, and the Jamaat-e-Islami has won seven.
A total of 1,569 candidates stood for elections in 219 wards of 42 cantonment boards
Of the candidates vying for a total 219 wards, seven candidates have already been elected unopposed. In addition, there is no competition in four wards of Kamra, none in one ward of Rawalpindi and none in one ward of Pano Aqil.
Therefore, polls today were held in 206 wards.
The polling process started at 8am and continued till 5pm. Voters inside the polling station were able to cast their votes despite polling time ending. The gates were closed for those queued outside.
Claims of people’s support, victory
Despite results across all wards not being complete, parties began claiming support shown by people and declaring victory.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif thanked God and the people who had shown the party support through their votes in the polls.
“We assure the people that we will not disappoint them and will leave no stone unturned in resolving their hardships and issues,” he said.
“We will take the country on the path to development, progress and prosperity with renewed vigour. InshaAllah,” he added.
PPP’s Murtaza Wahab, meanwhile, declared victory in several wards of Karachi’s Clifton Cantonment Board. He claimed the party has won for the first time from polling stations of PNT Colony in Ward 10 of the Board.
He went on to claim that Ward 9 has also been secured by PPP.
He further claimed PPP’s triumph in Ward 2.
Later, he claimed the party’s victory in all of Ward 10. “Alhamdolillah PPP has emerged as the largest party of CBC so far. Well done PPP workers,” Wahab said.
Traditional rivalry between competing parties was witnessed earlier too in today’s polling exercise.
PPP minister Saeed Ghani shared a video of PTI minister Ali Haider Zaidi visiting a polling station in Karachi’s Faisal Cantt, upon which the Election Commission of Pakistan took notice and issued orders for Zaidi’s expulsion from the NA-244 constituency.
Zaidi, in response, challenged the ECP to prove he had visited any polling station other than where he had cast his vote, vowing that he will resign as a minister, and moreover as an MNA if it is proven.
Zaidi’s arrival at a polling station near the National Stadium was met by loud cheers by PTI workers.
In addition, in Korangi, during PTI MNA Faheem Khan and MPA Raja Izhar’s visit, PPP workers staged a protest and demanded that the ECP take notice of the violation of a code of conduct, since party members are not allowed to visit constituencies until after polling ends.
Meanwhile, MQM Pakistan also complained to the ECP. Wasim Akhtar said that the PPP MPAs are “roaming around” in various localities, where they are “acting like goons”.
He alleged that voter numbers had been fudged in several cantonments.
Furthermore, two fake polling agents were arrested from the Clifton cantonment board.
In Lahore’s Ward No 4, clashes occurred between PTI and PML-N workers, who shouted slogans against one another. Moreover, after three days of continuous rains in the city, the polling process was delayed at some polling stations due to accumulated rainwater in different areas.
In Multan, in the remits of one polling station, rivalry between parties extended to physical blows between voters. Polling was temporarily suspended due to clashes that occurred twice.
Malik Azad, the PML-N candidate for the Gujranwala cantonment election, while talking to Geo News, alleged that polling staff was preventing the party’s voters from casting their votes.
Azad said that objections were being raised against our votes without any reason. “When I went inside to complain, I was also stopped,” he said.
Clashes occurred between two parties in Gujranwala’s DC Colony as well.
Over at Sargodha, two polling stations of Ward No 9 ended up being set up in graveyards.
It did not deter the arrival of voters, however, who continued to cast their votes despite the unusual venue.
ECP officials said that due to a lack of government buildings, tents had to be put up at the graveyard for two polling stations.
Two people were arrested after being accused of preparing fake ballot papers. Computers, printers and fake stamps were recovered from their possession.
Strict security arrangements were made at all the polling booths. The ECP had directed the provincial governments to install cameras at the most sensitive polling stations and said that presiding officers would announce the results at the polling stations after counting ends. All polling agents and candidates will receive a copy of the result from the Presiding Officer.
The polls in numbers
In today’s polls, 684 independent candidates from across the country are in the fray while 876 candidates from political parties are also contesting.
The highest number of candidates is 183 from PTI, while 144 are from PML-N, 113 from PPP, 104 from Jamaat-e-Islami, 42 from Muttahida Qaumi Movement, 35 from Pak Sarzamin Party, 34 from PML-Q and 25 candidates from JUI-F.
Furthermore, 83 candidates of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan are also contesting.
Source: The News