Thursday, June 1, 2023

violence during counting votes at polling stations: KPK local government elections

A vote-counting process has begun for the KPK local government elections which were held in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that were ruined by violence and mismanagement last week.

Buner, Bajaur, Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, and Kohat are the districts where elections were held today. Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, and Tank are the other districts where elections were held.

It took a long time for people to vote, and people who were inside polling places were able to vote after the 5 pm deadline.

As many as two people were killed and three other people were seriously injured when gunmen opened fire at a polling station in the Karak tehsil. Rescuers took the injured to the Karak District Headquarters Hospital after giving them first aid.

Someone shot at a polling station outside of Charsadda and injured a man.

In the Zakhakhel area of the Khyber tribal district, unidentified people broke ballot boxes, a senior government official told, but did not want to be named. After the men tried to stop the election, polling was stopped in 12 polling places, he said.

In the first round of voting, two tiers of local bodies went to the polls. The next 18 districts will vote on Jan 16, 2022.

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There are 19,282 candidates fighting for 2,359 seats in village and neighborhood councils around the country (VCNCs). For the same number of VCNCs, there are 3,905 female candidates.

There are 7,513 candidates for peasant/worker seats, 290 for the youth, and 282 for the minorities running for office, too. KP has 17 districts, and 689 people are running for mayor or chairman of the 63 tehsils in each.

“The PTI has gone to new lows in its efforts to rig local body elections,” said PPP chair Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who fired off a broadside at the party.

“A day before the polls, an ANP candidate was killed,” he said. “The members of his family said that a PTI minister first tried to bribe him, then killed him.” Sherani was killed on Saturday.

He said that people from the PTI were “caught red-handed” in Peshawar the night before the election when they were stamping ballot papers and putting them in boxes. All-day, he said, there have been reports that the PTI has broken into polling places and attacked polling workers, including women.

Bilawal asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to do something about “rigging and make sure that there are free and fair elections.”

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