A highly contested by-election in Karachi’s NA-245 constituency is underway with around 500,000 potential voters taking part in the voting to fill the seat left vacant by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) late Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
On Sunday, according to local media reports, the process of voting had a low turnout in the morning. The majority of polling stations were empty and election officials were seen sitting alone.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was forced to postpone the by-election on July 27 due to excessive rains.
Aamir Liaquat’s sudden death in June caused the seat to become vacant.
In the 2018 general elections, Liaquat won on a PTI ticket, defeating Farooq Sattar of the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) by getting 56,673 votes to his 35,429 votes.
PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry urged voters in Karachi to support the party as voting was taking place. He declared, “Today Karachi will stand with the truth, with democracy, and with true freedom.”
Sikander Sultan Raja, the chief election commissioner (CEC), declared that “violence and interference” will not be permitted. He issued a message urging people to go to the polls fearlessly and cast their votes.
Raja promised prompt action against those breaking the law and that anyone causing trouble will be arrested right away.
A total of 17 candidates are running for the NA-245 seat. The primary contest is anticipated to be between Dr. Farooq Sattar, who will run this time as an independent candidate with the “lock” as his electoral symbol.
MQM-P’s Moeed Anwar, PTI’s Mahmood Baqi Moulvi, and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s Muhammad Ahmed Raza are the other candidates.
The senior member of the Pak Sarzameen Party Syed Hafeezuddin is also running in the by-election.
Mohammad Danish Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party and Aminullah of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam have already removed their names from consideration.