The polling is underway for the by-elections in the National Assembly constituency NA-133 Lahore fell vacant due to the death of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Pervaiz Malik.
The polling began at 8 am and will continue till 5 pm.
Eleven candidates are in the field. A stiff contest is expected between PML-N and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Interestingly, no candidate from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in contention.
Pervaiz Malik’s widow Shaista Pervaiz Malik and PPP’s Aslam Gill are prominent among the candidates. The PML-N hopes to retain the seat.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 254 polling stations have been set up. Of them, 199 polling stations have been declared sensitive.
There are 440,485 registered voters, including 233,585 male voters.
Senior police officers have been deployed to monitor the security arrangements through patrolling or control room, CCPO Lahore told.
On November 30, a control room had been set up in Lahore to monitor the law and order situation during the by-election in NA-133.
Rangers had been tasked to transport bags containing ballot papers to the returning officer’s office after the polling process is over. The Result Transmission System (RTS) will be utilised to transmit results.
The PPP actively campaigned for the by-election which is considered a stronghold of the PML-N.
The PML-N won the seat thrice in the past with Pervaiz Malik returning in 2018 bagging 89,699 votes, Waheed Alam Khan in 2013 with more than 100,000 votes and Naseer Bhutta in 2008.
Ballot papers and other polling material was delivered to the polling stations under the supervision of police and Rangers.
The ECP has directed presiding officers to get snapshots of the original Form 45 along with forensic details showing time and location and hand it over to the returning officer by taking polling agents on board.
In case of non-availability of internet, the presiding officer should personally hand over the original Form 45.
The ECP has urged all presiding officers to save relevant details in their computer. Presiding officers will receive polling bags from the returning officer under the guard of police and Rangers.
Meanwhile, the ECP has asked each candidate to ensure proper training of their polling agents. Candidates have also been asked to ensure that no polling agent could leave the polling station without receiving from 45. Each presiding officer is bound to provide the signed copy of form 45 to relevant polling agents at the polling station.