Polling underway for NA-249 Karachi by-election

Polling underway for NA-249 Karachi by-election

Karachi (Web Desk): Polling for the by-elections in National Assembly constituency NA-249 Karachi West-II is underway.

The polling started at 8am and will continue till 5pm.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), there are 339,591 voters in the constituency including 201,656 male and 137,935 female voters.

There are over 339,000 registered voters in NA-249, including 201,656 male and 137,935 female voters.

276 polling stations comprising 796 polling booths have been established in the constituency.

The ECP has declared 184 polling stations highly sensitive and 92 others sensitive. The CCTV cameras have been installed at highly sensitive polling stations.

The ECP has asked the presiding officers (POs) to send pictures of Form-45 in the presence of polling agents of the contesting candidates to the returning officers. It directed them to keep the location of their smartphones on while taking the picture.

The commission has also directed the POs not to wait for submission of the results if the network is down, and pointed out that in such a case they should immediately reach the returning officer’s office and submit the polling record.

The ECP has directed them to supply signed copies of Form-45 to the polling agents. It has also asked polling agents not to leave the polling stations without obtaining copies of Form-45.

A tough contest is expected among the candidates of major political parties contesting the by-election.

Amjad Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Miftah Ismail of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Qadir Khan Madokhel of Pakistan People's party (PPP), Mustafa Kamal of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and Mohammad Mursaleen of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) are among the 30 candidates vying for the seat.

The NA-249 Karachi West-II constituency fell vacant after PTI’s Faisal Vawda resigned from the seat to become a senator.

Vawda had defeated PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif during the 2018 General Election.

The areas falling under the constituency include Baldia Town, Saeedabad, Qaimkhani Colony, Gulshan-e-Bihar, Mominabad, Rasheedabad, Ittehad Town, Frontier Colony, and some parts of Orangi Town.

To ensure a large voter turnout, the Sindh government has declared a public holiday today (Thursday, April 29) for NA-249 constituents.