Jan 23, 2014

Balochistan: Local Bodies Elections

Independents maintain the lead in Balochistan by-polls carried out peacefully on Sunday [19 January 2014] in 98 constituencies across 12 districts. 

Below is an article by The Express Tribune:

Independents maintained their overall lead in the race to grab the province’s civic bodies.

As many as 198 candidates were elected unopposed, while by-elections were not held for 331 vacant seats.

“By-polls in the remaining 331 vacant seats will be held next year in 2015,” said Sultan Bayazeed, Election Commissioner Balochistan. “295 polling officers were deputed in 12 districts during the by-polls in 114 polling stations,” he added.

More than one thousand police personnel, Balochistan Levies officers and other law enforcers were deployed to maintain security during the by-polls in Harnai, Quetta, Shirani, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, Sibi, Mastung, Gwadar, Panjgur, Bolan and other townships.

By-polls were held in 74 constituencies of the Harnai district where earlier on Dec 7 elections were postponed due to demonstrations held by various political and religious parties against the administration. There were 82 polling stations set up in Harnai out of the total 114 across the 12 districts.

According to unofficial results, PkMAP won five seats, JUI-F three from Harnai while three independent candidates belonging to Domki tribe won seats from Sibi.

The Balochistan National party secured four seats in Gwadar while the ruling National Party grabbed one.

The overall turnout was estimated to be about 45%, Sultan Bayazeed said while talking to The Express Tribune.

It is pertinent to mention that independent candidates have established a clear lead during the local bodies’ election by securing most seats. The JUI-F took a lead on other parties while coalition parties Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and the ruling National Party (NP) stood second and third, respectively.

Polling was delayed at UC-7 Fareed Kohsa polling station Jaffarabad after fake Identity cards were recovered from voters. “Polling staff seized 12 fake national identity cards from the voters,” sources said.