LAHORE: Arrangements have been made for the by-election in NA-148, Multan, on Sunday (today) while the election campaign by the candidates concluded on Saturday.

The slot fell vacant after the PPP’s Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the chairman Senate and former prime minister, stepped down. In the by-poll the contest is between the former PM’s son Ali Qasim Gilani and Sunni Ittehad Council/PTI-supported Barrister Taimur Malik.

The PML-N did not field its candidate for the by-poll for its coalition with the PPP at the federal and provincial levels and announced support to the PPP candidate.

In the general elections on Feb 8, Yusuf Gilani had secured a narrow victory with just 293 votes.

The district administration has prepared a plan for the by-election in the constituency and election material has been dispatched to all 275 polling stations.

Multan Deputy Commissioner Rizwan Qadeer inspected arrangements at the central election office at the Multan Public School. Returning Officer Muhammad Saif briefed the officials about the material delivery and polling procedure.

The DC emphasized transparency and a peaceful environment as per the directives of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He said security measures had been taken and deployment of additional police personnel had been made while surveillance cameras had been installed at sensitive locations. Strict action would be taken against any disruptions to law and order, he added.

According to the office of Regional Police Officer Muhammad Sohail Chaudhry, 3,829 police officials would perform duty for the security of 275 polling stations.

The RPO said that police would perform their duties with complete impartiality and the election code of conduct issued by the government will be strictly implemented. He said that maintaining law and order was the main responsibility of police.

In a statement, the ECP said media outlets would be permitted to broadcast election results one hour after the conclusion of polling, clarifying that these results would be unofficial and subject to change.

The number of registered voters in NA-148 is 213,333, including 111,639 men and 101,694 women.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2024

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