Almost after ten years, twelve districts of Punjab and eight in Sindh went to local bodies elections to elect their representatives. It was the first time these polls were held on party basis.
But according to reports, Election Commission of Pakistan and its provincial offices have not learnt some lessons from controversies of previous elections as various incidents of irregularities and violence were reported in both Punjab and Sindh.
Law and order situation was not satisfactory as he most unfortunate incident happened in Khairpur where at least eleven people were killed in an armed clash between rival groups. The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has said in a report that same shortcomings and irregularities were repeated in Saturday’s first phase of Local Government Elections in Sindh and Punjab as those surfaced in the 2013 General Elections. According to the report, 14.6 per cent incidents of violence were reported during the polling while the process initiated with a delay in four districts of Punjab; Lahore, Bahawalnagar, Lodhran and Kasur. Out of total 249 polling stations under observation, 71 per cent security officials were deployed inside and 10 pc outside the polling stations. Percentage of meddling in the polling process remained at 7 per cent.
It was alarming to be informed during the day that in some areas, the ballot papers had been wrongly printed and therefore voting could not take place in such locations.
Reports from some areas that unauthorised persons, particularly women, were caught openly stamping ballot papers according to their whims and wishes, often in the absence of polling staff. Third, and even more alarmingly, there were reports of clashes in both provinces. In Khairpur, Sindh, the home district of Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, his niece was caught on camera stamping ballot papers and his nephew brandishing a rifle openly.
Reports are claiming that ECP has not learnt lesson from past and failed to hold elections without irregularities and controversies.