Counting starts as polling in by-election ends

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 5:16:55 by

Voting in the country’s by-elections ended Thursday afternoon and the authorities started counting in the presence of the polling agents of the candidates, officials said. 

Polling was relatively peaceful and there had been minor scuffle of supporters of political rivals at some constituencies.

By-elections were held on 41 seats including 15 National Assembly and 26 Provincial Assemblies across the country.

These seats were vacated by those members who had won more than one seats in the May 11 elections and on those seats where candidates had been killed and disqualified over fake education degrees.

The results will have no impact on the central or provincial governments in view of clear majority however it is a test case for the ruling and opposition parties to check performance.

Nearly 500 candidates representing different political parties were in the run. Over eight million people were eligible to cast votes, however, the vote turnout was less than the May 11 elections.

The polling process began at 8 a.m. and continued till 5 p.m., without any break. However the election authorities allowed those voters to cast vote who had been inside polling stations.

Troops were deployed at some sensitive polling stations to ensure security, election commission officials said.

There had been reports that women were barred from voting in some areas by the political, religious leaders and elders. Taliban threats in parts of northwest also affected women votes in one constituency in the northwest.

Unofficial results will be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan at the conclusion of counting Thursday night. 


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