Polling for the NA-120 seat, which was left vacant by Nawaz Sharif’s ouster in the Panama verdict, ended in the Lahore constituency after it continued uninterrupted throughout the day.
Long queues were seen outside the polling stations as people came out to cast their vote as early as 10am, Live News2 reported.
A total of 44 candidates are contesting for the National Assembly seat from Lahore. Pakistan Army personnel are supervising the polling process. The first vote of the election was cast at 8am on Sunday morning, DawnNews reported; and continued until 5pm.
Earlier, reports surfaced that media personnel were not being allowed inside the polling stations. The army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, however, issued a statement saying that those media officials with ECP accreditation cards are visiting the stations. “No restrictions imposed by the army,” read the statement.
Voters complain of delays
A large number of voters turned up to choose their candidate in what has been predicted to be a close competition between PML-N and PTI. According to DawnNews, voters complained that the process inside the polling stations took too long and that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should take notice.
Some of the polling stations were reported to be without electricity, causing inconvenience to the voters.
Voters also took to Twitter to complain of the alleged delay in the polling process, to which Maryam Nawaz replied, “Don’t worry. Insha’Allah we will win.”
Only the voters are being allowed inside the polling stations by Rangers and army personnel, reported DawnNews, adding that all the stations in the constituency have been declared “sensitive”. To facilitate the registered voters, the ECP linked the 220 polling stations with Google Maps.
Tempers flare between PTI, PML-N activists
Hours after polling started, activists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N almost came to blows at Cooper Road, chanting slogans against each other. Law enforcement personnel, however, warned the political workers of baton charge, following which the activists dispersed.