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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Balochistan LG polls: Independents win big as voters shun mainstream parties

Vote count underway after polling ends for local bodies elections in Balochistan
Voting under way at the women polling station in Naseerabad. Photo via Twitter/@ECP_Pakistan
Voting under way at the women polling station in Naseerabad. Photo via Twitter/@ECP_Pakistan
Long queue at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School polling station on May 29, 2022. Photo via Imam Bugti
Long queue at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School polling station on May 29, 2022. Photo via Imam Bugti
People at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School polling station on May 29, 2022. Photo via Imam Bugti
People at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School polling station on May 29, 2022. Photo via Imam Bugti
A view of the polling station set up at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School. Photo via Imam Bugti
A view of the polling station set up at Dera Bugti’s Kali Pir Muhammad Sui’s Government Primary School. Photo via Imam Bugti
Security personnel patrol during the local government elections in Dera Bugti. Photo via Imam Bugti
Security personnel patrol during the local government elections in Dera Bugti. Photo via Imam Bugti

QUETTA: Independent candidates are the big winners in Balochistan’s local government elections that took place over the weekend.

According to the unofficial vote count by Monday noon, the independent candidates won more than 1,300 seats, followed by conventional political parties.

  • Independent candidates: 1,340 seats
  • Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam: 232 seats
  • Balochistan Awami Party: 160
  • Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party: 94
  • National Party: 67
  • Balochistan National Party-Mengal: 65
  • Pakistan Peoples Party: 49
  • Balochistan National Party-Awami: 40
  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: 22
  • Awami National Party: 19
  • Jamhoori Watan Party: 17
  • Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz: 15

“With LG elections in Balochistan democracy stands strengthened,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said.

The polling for local government elections in Balochistan’s 32 districts ended, with more than 100 women contesting polls on general seats for the first time in the province’s history.

Polling schemes in 32 districts

  • Kalat Division: Awaran, Kalat, Khuzdar, Mastung, Surab
  • Loralai Division: Bakrhan, Dukki, Loralai, Musakhel
  • Mekran Division: Gwadar, Kech, Panjgur
  • Nasirabad Division: Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Kacchi, Nasirabad, Sohbatpur
  • Quetta Division: Chaman, Killa Abdullah, Pishin
  • Rakhshan Division: Chagai, Kharan, Nushki, Washuk
  • Sibi Division: Dera Bugti, Harnai, Kohlu, Sibi, Ziarat
  • Zhob Division: Killa Siafullah, Sherani, Zhob

“As many as 3,552,398 people will exercise their right to vote in the LG polls. Around 5,226 polling stations have been set up in Balochistan’s 32 districts,” the Election Commission of Pakistan had said in a tweet.

The polling on Sunday started at 8am and continued till 5pm without any interruption amid tight security as the provincial government aimed to ensure the code of conduct in the electoral process.

The provincial government, which is led by Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, in coordination with the country’s top electoral authority, has divided the polling stations into three categories: very sensitive, sensitive, and normal.

Frontier Corps (FC) and the army personnel have been deployed in Kohlu, Panjgur, Gwadar, Awaran, Khuzdar, Chaman, and Killa Abdulla, Balochistan government spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah said in a press conference on Saturday in Quetta.

There are 576 polling stations for men, 562 for women, 149 improvised, while around 4,088 will be combined. Meanwhile, the ECP has declared 1,974 sensitive, 2,034 very sensitive, and 1,218 normal – out of the total 5,226.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, who is heading the polling process, said intervention in the voting would not be accepted. “Immediate action will be taken on any violation,” he said.

As many as 16,195 candidates are participating in the LG polls, with 132 women candidates contesting on general seats for the first time in the province’s history.

Ms Shah, the provincial government spokesperson, had said on Saturday that around Rs4.3 billion were provided to the ECP.

Control rooms have been set up in the Provincial Election Commissioner’s Office and Islamabad Headquarters while local body elections in Quetta and Lasbela will be held in the second phase.

Reports of aerial firing in Chaman and other constituency was reported during the polling.

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ECP

Balochistan

abdul quddus bizenjo

local government elections