Despite the provincial government’s plea for a postponement, voting for the by-election for NA-193 in Rajanpur began as scheduled on Sunday.
The Punjab Home Department had requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to defer the by-elections due to security concerns, however, the electoral body turned down the plea.
In a statement issued this morning, the ECP stated that voting began at the regular time of 8am and will go on uninterrupted until 5pm. It stated that a control room had been set up at the headquarters of the ECP to oversee the election and handle concerns about the voting process.
According to the ECP, there are 379,204 registered voters, of whom 206,497 are men and 172,709 are women. In contrast, eleven candidates are contesting the by-election in Rajanpur .
According to the ECP, 237 polling places have been set up in the district, and police officers have been assigned to provide security. The ECP said that 200 Punjab Rangers personnel are also deployed to avoid any untoward incidents, adding that those who disrupt voting or breach the election code of conduct will face harsh punishment.
As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan withdrew his nomination papers out of concern that he would be disqualified in the Tyrian White case, the PTI nominated Mohsin Leghari to run in the by-elections in Rajanpur’s NA 193.
Eight other candidates are contesting, including Akhtar Hassan Gorchani for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Ammar Awais Laghari for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Following the passing of PTI lawmaker Jaffar Khan Leghari, the position became vacant. On December 31, 2022, in Lahore, he passed away after a protracted illness.