Independent candidates lead in Balochistan LG polls 

Voters brave violence to excercise right to vote;

By: News Desk
Published: 10:27 AM, 29 May, 2022
Independent candidates lead in Balochistan LG polls 
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The independent candidates led in the local government (LG) elections in 32 districts of Balochistan, 24newsHD TV channel reported.

The LG election were held in Balochistan after 9 years. More than 17,000 candidates took part in the elections in 32 of the 34 districts of Balochistan. A total of 132 women candidates contested for general seats.

Unofficial results show independent candidates have won 1,058 seats followed by JUI with 98 seats and BAP with 71 seats. Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) won 39 seats, National Party (NP) secured 26 seats, Balochistan National Party (Mengal) bagged 18 seats while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 10 and six seats respectively.

Impressive turnout

The people of Balochistan have zealously participated in the local bodies elections that held after a decade.

The turnout of women voters was high and the young people participated in the electoral process with national zeal.

Braving all odds, a total of 132 women candidates contested for general seats, encouraging local women to be part of mainstream.

Sixty-one percent turnout was reported in Turbat that the highest. The credit for a successful local body election goes to the brave 

A large number of young people also participated in the electoral process. Turbat Division had a turnout of 61% which is equivalent to any major city in Pakistan. This is the highest turnout since the 1988 election.

The credit for a successful local body election goes to the brave people of Balochistan, the administration, the law enforcement agencies and the hundreds of young men who have sacrificed their lives for the restoring peace.

Extending greetings 

The JUI spokesperson has greeted his party leadership and workers on clinching victory in the Balochistan LG election.

Aslam Ghauri said the people of Balochistna reposed their trust in the leadershiop of JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, saying that the party chief’s narrative became popular. He vowed to come up to the voters’ aspirations.

PPP leader Faryal Talpur said Balochistan’s people reposed trust in the party by electing its candidates in LG vote. 

More than 120 PPP candidates won, she said adding that a total of 50 were elected unopposed while the party has a clear lead in 6 districts including Khuzdar and Jaffarabad. Faryal Talpur won in the local body elections

CEC grateful to CM and lawmen 

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has expressed gratitude to the chief minister of Balochistan, government, and law enforcement agencies for help in conducting local body polls.

The CEC said holding of local body elections in Balochistan after 9 years is a good omen for democracy.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan is committed to hold doing the same in Sindh and Punjab.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has expressed gratitude to the chief minister of Balochistan, government, and law enforcement agencies for help in conducting local body polls.

The CEC said holding local body elections in Balochistan after 9 years is a good omen for democracy.

He said  the Election Commission of Pakistan is committed to doing the same in Sindh and Punjab.

First unofficial, unverified result from Sibbi 

24News has received the first unofficial and unverified result of the Balochistan local bodies from Sibbi Municipal Committee Ward 23 where PMLN contestant Ali bhai took a lead with 34 votes defeating independent candidate who got nine votes only.

Noshki

As per the second unofficial and unverified result from Noshki came from Noshki ward number 12 Garib abad (Polling Station No3) where Balochistan National Party (BNP) Advocate Liaquat got 142 votes and independent candidate got 103 votes. 

Pishin

As per unofficial and unverified result, independent candidate got 192 votes in comparison to PkMAP candidate 171 votes.

Chaman

PkMAP candidate Jahanzaib got 115 votes in comparison to his rival candidate who got 62 votes in Ward No 1of UC-11.

Duki

As per the unofficial results of Union Council 12 Nasirabad Ward No. 5 of Dukki, BAP District General Secretary Haji Fateh Muhammad Nasir won with 1267 votes.

Quetta

In Kali Muhammad Hussaini Ward No 20, Qasim Muhammad Hussaini got 57 in comparison to his rival Izhar ul Haq who got 52 votes. 

In Ward no 11 of JUI-F Mir Dlamdar Muradzai got 154 votes in comparison to BAP candidate Haji Rasool Baksh Sanjrani votes. 

In Municipal Committee Ward-6, PTI candidate Haji Wajdad got 147 votes and independent votes got 103. 

Balochistan people rejected anti-country elements: govt spokesperson 

Balochistan government spokesperson Farah Azeeem Shah in a statement said that local bodies elections concluded peacefully in the province 32 districts.   

“The people of Balochistan participated in the democratic process with zeal and fervor,” Farah said. 

The spokesperson congratulated security institutions and the government for holding peaceful elections

“People have rejected the anti-country elements—who want to destroy the peace of the Balochistan—by participating with huge participation in the local bodies polls,” she added.

Complaints

The election commission officials received over a dozen complaints about disruption in the polling process from different areas of Balochistan.

One person was killed when rivals exchanged firing in Union Council 1 Ward 7 in Naushki. The election authorities halted the voting process after the deadly violence. Law-enforcement personnel further beefed up the security in Naushki.

The voting process at a polling station in Sibi was suspended following a clash and incident of firing in which 10 people got hurt. 

Reportedly, an armed clash was occurred between two rival groups during local government elections at Ward No 5 of Imam Bakhsh Chachar polling station in UC 4 in Sibi. 

As many as 10 people belonging to both groups were wounded during the fight. They were shifted to the Civil Hospital where the condition of three of them was stated to be critical. 

Seeing that the violence was brewing out at the polling station, district returning officer Qazi Mansoor halted the polling process at both the ladies and men’s booths at Chachar polling station.

The election symbol of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party candidate Tariq Aziz was also missing on the ballot papers which caused quite a stir in the constituency.

An incident of aerial firing over a polling station was also reported in Chaman.

There were no reports of any casualties as three rockets were fired on a polling station in Kohlu.

Security personnel surrounded the polling station. Voting was stopped in Kohlu after tension gripped the polling process following snatching of ballot papers from a family. Seven people were injured when rivals clashed.

There were also complaints of indiscriminate use of government machinery in the election process in Sanjawi. JUI threatened to stage protest after hundreds of ballot papers were reported missing.

A presiding officer in Ziarat was also accused of stealing the ballot papers.

Meanwhile, militants were also active to throw spanners in the democratic process as a man was injured in the wake of a bomb blast occurred in Kalat on Sunday, a district located 137 kilometres far from Quetta.

The injured person was provided medical treatment at a nearby hospital.

In another incident, the security forces and bomb disposal squad successfully defused a bomb planted in a motorbike in Chaman city.

The bomb was planted in a motorbike parked in the Railways Colony.

Another bomb blast was reported outside a polling station in a school in Turbat. However, there were no reports of any casualties in the incident.

Two people including a security man were injured in a grenade attack at a polling station in a college in Quetta.

Despite these reports, voting for the local government elections continued in various urban and rural areas across Balochistan in 32 out of the 34 districts of the province. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the polling began at 8am and will continue until 5pm without any pause.

More than 3.5 million voters are exercising their right to vote, and 5,226 polling stations have been set up for the voting process.

Like other parts of Balochistan, polling for the local bodies elections has started in Jaffarabad, and voters are standing n queues to cast their votes.

Jaffarabad has two municipal corporations, one municipal committee and 286 wards of 39 union councils. Twelve of the 289 wards are vacant due to rejection of the papers of the candidates.

Out of 286 wards, candidates in 124 wards were elected unopposed, and 604 candidates are contesting the local bodies’ elections in the remaining 150 wards.

As many as 211 polling stations have been set up across the district.

Of these, 81 are highly sensitive, 71 are sensitive and 50 are declared normal.

Strict security arrangements have also been made on the occasion.

Similarly, polling has started for local bodies elections in Surab district.

The 24NewsHD TV channel reports that polling is taking place at 115 polling stations in the district, according to the deputy commissioner.

There are 60 sensitive, 53 highly sensitive and two normal polling stations in Surab district.

The population of Surab district is 208,694 and total voters are 57,339.

Strict security arrangements have been made in the district for local bodies elections.

Likewise, polling has started for local bodies elections in Kalat.

The voting had started at 8am at High School Police Line polling station.

There are about 2,500 votes registered in this constituency.

Furthermore, voting for local bodies elections has started in the polling stations of Kohlu district.

Strict security arrangements have been ensured at the polling stations step up in the district.

Reporters: Hafeezullah Shakir, Shakeel Baloch