LAHORE: Pakistan Army personnel as well as some members of the polling staff have criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for poor arrangements at polling stations for by-polls of NA-120 held the other day.
Army officials deployed at the polling station set up at the Govt Model Middle School Bagh-e-Munshi, Ladha and Govt Higher Secondary School told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity that the ECP had no proper arrangement for them at polling stations.
“No ECP staff was there to guide us at polling stations. Army personnel had to even arrange chairs and tables for the polling staff. It was the job of the ECP to make arrangements but they did not do so. We had to face a lot of problems owing to this issue,” said a soldier.
Like the army, the polling staff at almost all polling stations complained about the ECP for not making proper arrangements. Mubashra Fatima, a presiding officer at
Mubashra Fatima, a presiding officer at Chistian High School in Islampura, said she and her staff had to face a lot of trouble in the morning since nothing was in order at the school.
“The polling staff was pulling chairs and tables on their own which was not their duty. Similarly, there was no availability of water,” she said.
Arifa Batool, presiding officer at the Muslim Model School polling station, appreciated the army personnel for facilitating her staff at the polling station. However, she was critical of the ECP for non-cooperation and poor arrangements.
“There was no one in the morning from the ECP to help us with polling. We had to do everything on our own,” she said.
Dr Bushra, who performed her duties as presiding officer at Govt. College for Girls Cooper Road, criticised the ECP for making her job difficult as presiding officer.
“The ECP staff did not help us in arranging material at the polling station and there was a lot of trouble and confusion since no one from the ECP was there to guide us,” she said, echoing claims made by other polling staff.
On the other hand, all polling staff including presiding officers and polling agents appreciated the role of Pakistan Army for conducting by-polls in a pleasant and peaceful manner.
It is pertinent to mention that PML-N’s candidate Kulsoom Nawaz stood victorious with 61,254 votes while PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid got 47,066 votes from the 220 polling stations in the constituency in the by-polls held on Sunday.
Yaqoob Sheikh, an independent candidate backed by the newly formed JUD’s Milli Muslim League (MML), stood third according to the provisional results.