KARACHI: The first round of Sindh’s local body elections, which were plagued by violence and suspected anomalies, is currently being counted.
At least 21,298 candidates ran for 5,331 seats in the first round of voting, which took place in 14 districts of Sindh.
There were 946 candidates chosen without opposition throughout the voting period, which started at 9 am and continued uninterruptedly until 5 pm.
People gathered at polling places in 14 districts of the province to elect the members of their local bodies days after the Sindh High Court (SHC) rejected requests to delay the local government election (LG).
Candidates for 946 seats have already been deemed to be unopposed, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
In total, there were 1,1492,680 voters throughout all 14 districts, for whom 29.5 million ballots were printed, and for whom 9290,000 voting places and 29,970 polling booths were put up. 1,985 polling places were deemed “very sensitive” and 3,448 were deemed “sensitive” by the election body.
Jacobabad, Qambar, Shahdad Kot, Shikarpur, Larkana, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Ghotki, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Naushero Feroze, Shaheed Benazir, Abad, Sanghar, Mirpur Khas, Umerkot, and Tharparkar are the 14 districts in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Mirpur Khas divisions that will hold elections.
Brutality at polling places
Several polling locations had conflicts between political parties during the election, which resulted in injuries. Riots in a few wards caused voting to be suspended. According to the media, there were reports of rigging, unrest, vanished polling places, and imprisoned poll workers in various areas.
A shootout between the two groups in Rohri resulted in at least one fatality and two injuries and stopped the voting process.
The conflicts caused a swarm of voters and turned the voting place into a battleground.
Zafar Khan Gandapur, the brother of PTI candidate Qaiser Khan Gandapur, was killed in a confrontation between PPP and PTI activists in Tando Adam’s ward 13. Qaiser Khan Gandapur was also hurt in the altercation.
After the murder, voting was suspended in ward 13, and the PTI candidate claimed that the brutality of PPP workers was to blame for his brother’s death.
Unknown attackers stormed three polling places in Nawabshah, forcing the ECP to postpone the voting procedure.
At least 13 people who were allegedly involved in violence at the polling places in Pano Aqil were detained by the authorities. ECP asserts that it will not permit anyone to obstruct voting or interfere with the elections.