The vote-count is underway after polling ended for the first phase of local government elections in 14 districts of Sindh that were marred by violence and mismanagement, Aaj News reported.
Polling was held in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Jacobabad, Qambar Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Naushahro Feroze, Sanghar, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Ghotki and Tharparkar.
The polling began at 8 am and the ending time was 5 pm but in several districts, polling was stopped due to clashes.
Clashes and violence
Clashes erupted between JUI-F and PPP workers in ward 10 of Kandhkot. Thirty people were injured as they attacked each other with sticks while several vehicles also got damaged.
In a separate incident, gunmen stormed Tori Bungalow at UC Dari polling station in Kandhkot and abducted ten members of the election staff.
Similarly, polling was stopped due to a commotion at Nadir Shah Dispensary polling station, Nawab Shah. The TLP candidate and voters protested as their voting symbol on the ballot paper was missing.
In another incident, armed men stormed three polling stations of UC-8 of Nawab Shah and took the ballot papers with them, causing delay in the electoral process.
Two killed in Rohri, Tando Adam
During the first phase, a man was shot dead at Dabar polling station in Rohri while another man was killed in Tando Adam.
Likewise, elections were postponed in few wards over misprinting of ballot papers, confirmed a spokesperson of the ECP.
He maintained that the ECP will issue a new schedule for elections on the seats. The spokesperson said that the ECP has launched an inquiry in this regard.
As many as 9,122 out of 9,744 candidates are eyeing the positions of 2,926 out of 3,548 general members’ seats for union councils. Some 622 members have already been elected unopposed to these positions, the data reveals.
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Of 3,325 candidates for the positions of general members for Tehsil councils, 3,257 contestants are eyeing 626 out of 694 positions and 68 candidates have been elected unopposed.
In addition, out of 2,435 candidates for 354 positions of general members of municipal corporations, 2,411 contestants are running for 340 seats with 14 candidates already elected unopposed.
The total number of registered voters in 14 districts is 11,304,860 comprising 6,147,442 male and 5,157,418 female voters, the ECP data suggests.
The total number of polling stations in 14 districts is 9,023, out of which, 2,145 have been marked as highly sensitive, 3,482 as sensitive and 3,396 polling stations have been marked as normal.
The government has deployed over 40,000 policemen across polling stations to maintain law and order while Sindh Rangers is on standby. Carrying of any kind of weapons is also prohibited under section 144.