Vote count underway in Ghotki NA-205

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Four women showing their CNICs and marked thumbs after casting their votes in Ghotki by-polls on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. — APP
Four women showing their CNICs and marked thumbs after casting their votes in Ghotki by-polls on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. — APP

The vote count is underway and initial results have started pouring in as polling for the general seat of the Sindh Assembly — NA-205 — Ghotki, concluded peacefully.

Two powerful Mahars, who also happened to be maternal uncle and nephew, are contesting for the seat fallen vacant after the death of Ali Mohammad Khan Mahar, a former Sindh chief minister. The late Mahar was serving as the federal narcotics minister when he died.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Sardar Mohammad Bux Khan Mahar is taking on his nephew Ahmed Ali Mahar — the son of the late Ali Mohammad Khan Mahar — an independent candidate who is supposed to be a part of the PTI after elections.

Unofficial and unconfirmed results from 140 polling stations showed that Mohammad Bux Mahar was enjoying a lead of around 10,000 votes.

The constituency had 360,875 registered voters including 204,891 male and 155,935 female voters. A total of 290 polling stations were set up which include 56 each for male and female voters while 178 were combined polling stations.

Out of the total 290, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had declared 125 polling stations "highly sensitive" and 164 "sensitive".

Strict security arrangements were put in place under the ECP’s directives. Army personnel were deployed inside the polling stations, despite opposition by the PPP.

NA-205 covers PS-20 and PS-21 which were won by Ali Gohar Khan Mahar of the anti-PPP Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and his brother Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar alias Raja Mahar as a PPP candidate, respectively, in the July 25, 2018 general elections.