NA-249 by-election in Karachi: More than 100 violations of election laws observed: FAFEN

ISLAMABAD: More than 100 violations of election laws were observed during the April 29 NA-249 by-elections in Karachi, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) said in a detailed report on the polls on Friday.

“On election day, FAFEN’s trained citizen observers reported 143 violations, of which 55 related to the presence of party camps in the polling stations’ surroundings,” the report said.

In 11 instances, the polling staff did not allow voters to cast votes and sent them back, the report said, adding that at 19 polling stations, the observers saw that Covid-19 SOPs were not implemented at all.

However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had ensured strict compliance to the Covid-19 standard operating procedures overall, the report noted.

“The other 58 instances of violations pertained to procedural irregularities, mainly in voting and counting processes. On average, the observers reported 1.3 violations per polling station,” it said.

Twelve political parties fielded their candidates in the NA-249 by-election while 18 candidates contested independently.

The by-election saw a substantial decline in voter turnout, mainly due to the hot weather and Ramadan, the detailed report said. “Despite a competitive campaign, the poll recorded a turnout of 21.6 percent of registered voters dropping from 40 percent reported for the constituency during General Elections 2018,” it noted.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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