NA-75 Daska Re-polling is underway

SIALKOT: Voting began, on Saturday, in the fiercely contested NA-75 Sialkot-IV (Daska) constituency.

After the clashes between the supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the unexplained absence of about 20 presiding officers, and alleged tampering with the results, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rescheduled the NA-75 Sialkot-IV (Daska) re-polls to March 18 at first, then to April 10 (today).

The voting period will run uninterrupted until 5 p.m. Ali Asjad Malhi of the PTI and Nosheen Iftikhar of the PML-N are running for the seat, while Khalil Sindhu of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is also running.

According to reports, Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja will be “personally supervising” the re-polling procedure today at the provincial election commission office in Lahore.

Furthermore, the provincial election commission has tasked Pakistan Rangers with transporting presiding officers and polling material to and from polling stations to the returning officer’s office in order to ensure fair re-election in NA-75.

Closed-circuit TV cameras are being mounted at 47 highly critical polling stations, out of a total of 360, to make the conduct of the April 10 re-poll clear.

Following the by-elections in Daska on February 19, various reports of suspected vote tampering, rigging, and clashes were reported. The governing party and the opposition were at odds when the former claimed victory while the latter accused the constituency of widespread rigging.

The ruling party had previously opposed the ECP’s decision to reschedule the by-poll in the Supreme Court (SC) and requested a stay of the order. However, on April 2, the Supreme Court dismissed the PTI’s appeal against the ECP’s instructions for re-polling in the NA-75 constituency and upheld the country’s highest electoral body’s decision to hold a new election in April 10.

Despite their many divisions, the Pakistan Peoples Party has pledged its support for Iftikhar as part of their joint attempt to destabilize the country.

The families of PTI and PML-N candidates have been elected for the past two decades, according to the NA-75’s political record. In this respect, though, the PML-N candidate has a good presence. Syed Murtaza Amin, Nosheen Iftikhar’s husband, has been elected to the National Assembly four times from this district.

It’s worth noting that, due to his degree, he was unable to vote in the elections. The PML-N has retained this seat in the last three general elections.

As part of its attempts to ensure accountability, the ECP has made it mandatory for the presiding officer to have a mobile during the polling period.

In the re-polling procedure, the smartphone devices will aid in tracing the position of presiding officers, according to the study.

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