Significant voter turnout witnessed, claims exit poll

Published October 17, 2022
<p>A female voter casts her ballot at a polling station during the by-election for National Assembly seats, in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP</p>

A female voter casts her ballot at a polling station during the by-election for National Assembly seats, in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pattan Development Organisation (Pattan), an NGO, claimed that despite overwhelming uncertainty and repeated postponement of by-elections a ‘moderate to high percentage of voter’ turnout was witnessed across all the constituencies during the polling on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the PTI has said its victory in the by elections was a message that people will not accept any regime change through conspiracy.

In Pattan’s exit polls, as many as 52pc of voters said they had voted for the PTI though they knew party chairman Imran Khan would not return to the National Assembly. More than one-third (32pc) of the respondents said they had voted for the candidates supported by the PDM.

It claimed that Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan’s vote bank has slightly gone up since July 17 by-polls, while PTI and PDM appeared to have maintained their vote bank.

PTI to observe ‘Youm-i-Tashakur’ today

The exit poll was conducted at 214 polling stations of all the 11 constituencies in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

Though only 5pc of the exit poll respondents said their poll experience was poor, many voters were found complaining that their votes were absent from the polling station where they had voted in general election in 2018.

Meanwhile, the PTI has condemned the attack on Bilal Ahmad Ghaffar, its MPA from Sindh Assembly’s constituency PS-103 and called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the incident.

PTI Sindh President Ali Zaidi wrote a letter to the chief election commissioner about the incident and accused PPP MPA Saleem Balouch and Salman Balouch for the attack.

He said police present there did not respond when he called them for help.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said PPP was a fascist party, adding that just like brave people of Karachi had ended the influence of MQM, they would also teach a lesson to the PPP.

PTI announces Youm-i-Tashakur

Addressing a press conference, PTI leader Asad Umar said: “The people’s decision is a writing on the wall and now decisionmakers of Pakistan have two choices: allow people to elect their own govt or let them go for the other option,” he said without mentioning what would be the other option.

He also gave PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s message that the party will observe Youm-i-Tashakur on Monday (today).

Mr Umar accused the ECP, saying that it was not impartial in disposing of its duty as a state institution.

“We have received reports from several polling stations of severe electoral irregularities,” he claimed.

He also claimed that personnel from Sindh Police’s Special Branch were sitting inside polling stations in Karachi and trying to influence the poll.

According to unofficial results, Mr Khan has lost the NA-237 Malir-II seat to PPP’s Abdul Hakeem Baloch.

Mr Umar further added that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah campaigned in sheer violation of the election code of conduct which bars government office holders from participating in campaigns.

About the economic situation, Mr Umar expressed the apprehension that the economy was going from bad to worse, as reports from international markets were indicating that Pakistan was fast heading towards default.

He said that the government compounded the miseries of the people manifolds by breaking all records of inflation and now the gas prices would be increased.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2022

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