Peaceful by-polls with 35% turnout and scattered irregularities: FAFEN

The by-polls have been peaceful with only a 35 percent turnout and scattered instances of irregularities, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has said.

FAFEN has said that the voter turnout has been low compared to the general elections of 2018 whereas the male voters’ turnout reduced from 57.3 percent to 39.5 percent and female voters’ turnout reduced to 29.7 percent from 45 percent.

According to the report, 1,962,800 voters had exercised their right to vote in the 2018 general elections, but only 470,890 came up to cast their vote in the by-polls. PP-209 Khanewal-VII recorded the highest turnout of 53.3 percent whereas NA-239 Korangi Karachi-I showed the lowest turnout of voters at 14.8 percent.

NA-31 Peshawar-V recorded the lowest turnout of female voters at 10.4 percent. Four constituencies recorded less than 20 percent female turnout while one constituency remained below 20 percent in terms of male voters’ turnout.

Karachi’s constituencies, NA-239 Korangi-I and NA-237 Malir-II, registered the lowest overall voter turnout. A total of 17.6 percent of voters exercised their right to vote on average in these two constituencies while three constituencies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded 27.4 percent and six constituencies of Punjab showed 44.8 percent accumulative turnout.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won six seats of the National Assembly and two seats of the Punjab Assembly. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won two seats of the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) won one seat of the Punjab Assembly.

FAFEN has further stated that the low participation of women candidates was a concern. Only three of the total 118 candidates were women.

It has also been said that scattered irregularities including the presence of unauthorized persons inside polling stations, unchecked campaigning, canvassing inside and outside polling stations and oversized polling stations were observed during the elections.

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