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A list of LG poll irregularities: Opening ballot boxes, private staff and Thappa mafias

ECP claims to resolve 45 out of 46 complaints
Voters engaged in a scuffle during the voting in local government elections in Jamshoro on Sunday, January 15, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News
Voters engaged in a scuffle during the voting in local government elections in Jamshoro on Sunday, January 15, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News

The country’s top electoral authority, the Election Commission of Pakistan, said it tackled 45 out of the 46 complaints of alleged irregularities reported in the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad on Sunday.

Here is the list of incidents reported:

‘Bogus votes’

The Jamaat-e-Islami workers had apparently assaulted a polling agent of the Pakistan Peoples Party as they accused him of stamping bogus votes locally known as “Thappa mafia” at UC 3 Shaheed Sarwar School in North Nazimabad.

Videos showed people chasing workers who apparently cast fake votes and ran away. It showed a policeman tried to calm them down. A voice in the background of the video claimed that PPP workers had shut the door of a polling booth and cast fake votes.

PTI’s Firdous Shamim Naqvi opens ballot box

PTI’s Firdous Shamim Naqvi violated the election code of conduct after he was filmed opening ballot boxes at a polling station in Karachi’s Soldier Bazaar.

The videos were uploaded on his Twitter account. The ECP ordered that the PTI leader be expelled from the station.

Naqvi, who expressed his concerns over the conduct of elections, later told Aaj News that the seals were not tight and he was merely tightening them after opening them.

“I am 65 years old. How can I break the seal?” he said.

PTI leaders arrested

PTI MPA Adeel Ahmed and another PTI leader Amjad Afridi were arrested from Karachi’s Korangi for allegedly ‘snatching’ ballot papers from polling staff, Aaj News correspondent Qazi Asif reported. Weapon and ballot papers were recovered from their possession, he said.

In another incident in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of the metropolis, PTI MPA Rabistan Khan was booked for riots in the polling station. Our correspondent Shahmir Khan reported that ten other PTI workers were also named in the FIR.

Stop government advertisements

The ECP told the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to stop government ads airing on television channels. The Sindh government has been running ads on the electric bus and other projects it has undertaken days before the local government elections. They were playing on election day as voters headed to the polling booth.

“Polling for the second phase of the LG polls in the province is underway which is why running advertisements during polling violated the code of conduct,” the ECP spokesperson said.

Who is behind the mask?

The PTI has claimed that unidentified men in masks assaulted polling station staff in the city’s central area, North Nazimabad Town.

The Imran Khan-led party alleged that such people were harassing polling staff.

“It will be revealed after a police investigation,” SSP Central Maroof Usman told Aaj News. The police on duty controlled the situation.

Private staff caught in a polling station

Two youngsters were caught serving inside a polling station in Gul Rana Government Girls Secondary School, Aansu Goth of district Malir in Karachi.

They were inside the polling station as staff was short, the presiding officer told Aaj News.

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