The counting of votes is underway as polling ended in the second phase of local government elections held in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the polling started at 8 am and continued till 5 pm without any breaks.
The polling process remained quite slow, and voters present inside polling stations are allowed to cast their votes beyond the 5 pm deadline. After 2 pm As hundreds of thousands of people headed to vote to elect their local representatives, many political parties complained and demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to increase the polling time as the process began late at some of the stations.
However, the polling where Polling started at 8 am will close Polling at the scheduled time of 5 pm — after the election commission decided against extending the duration, but allowed its partial continuation.
In a statement, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said that “voters present inside polling stations at the closing time are allowed to cast their votes”.
But at scattered polling stations, the officials have allowed polling to continue for another two hours as the process faced delays due to wide-ranging reasons, including the polling agents not reaching on the mentioned time and the Unavailability of polling materials at some stations.
Remember here one thing The LG polls are taking place in seven districts of Karachi and nine districts of the Hyderabad division. Nearly 8,000 polling stations have been declared ‘sensitive’ or ‘highly sensitive’ in 16 districts of Karachi and Hyderabad.
In Karachi, as many as 3,415 polling stations have been classified as sensitive, 1,496 as highly sensitive, and 79 as normal. Keeping this in view Strict security arrangements have been put in order to ensure fair and transparent elections in both divisions.
It is to be intimated that the Election commission requested Pakistan Army to provide security for the polls, but the General Headquarters (GHQ) excused itself amid the ongoing security situation.