SIALKOT – Re-polling for the by-election in the National Assembly constituency NA-75 Daska is all set to take place tomorrow (Saturday).
A number of candidates are in the fray but the tough competition is expected between the PML-N’s Nosheen Iftikhar and the ruling PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi.
The Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on February 25, had nullified the results of Feb 19 by-polls in the constituency following the rigging allegations by the PML-N and issued an order for re-polling in the entire constituency.
On March 16, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had dismissed a PTI’s request to suspend the ECP order regarding the holding of re-elections in the NA-75 Daska constituency.
The case was heard by a three-member bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial.
Justice Bandial observed that the ECP is a constitutional institution, adding that while the top will continue to hear the case, the re-election will be held at all costs.
PPP lends support to PML-N
Despite differences in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), PPP on Friday announced that it will support PML-N’s candidate Nosheen Iftikhar.
PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira has said his party would support the candidate in the by-polls, just as it backed them in February.
47 polling stations in Daska by-polls declared sensitive
The ECP has declared 47 polling stations as sensitive out of 360 as all is set for polling in the Daska by-election on April 10.
The ECP directed the authorities to install over 100 CCTV cameras at sensitive polling stations to monitor the situation on polling day due on April 10 in NA-75 Daska.
Rangers and police have been deployed in the constituency with Pakistan Army soldiers on standby.
Why ECP ordered re-polling?
The ECP had declared the by-polls of the NA-75 Daska constituency null and void. The PML-N had requested the election body for re-election in the Daska constituency as the February 19 election was marred by various controversies.
The ECP had withheld the results after 20 presiding officers of polling stations in the constituency went missing and they submitted the results with 14 hours delay.
The DRO and RO suspected that the results of 20 polling stations in the NA-75 by-election have been rigged, the ECP had said.
The NA-75 was also a hotly-contested constituency as it saw violence throughout the day. Two people – one belonged to the PML-N and the other was a PTI worker – were killed during the firing incident.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz has welcomed the decision, stating that the public had averted an attempt of poll rigging in Daska.