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Poll rigging allegations spark violence in PoK, Punjab

Muzaffarabad , Mon, 27 Jun 2011 ANI

Muzaffarabad/Lahore, June 27(ANI): Allegations of poll rigging have sparked violent protests in many parts of Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, with political activists clashing with each other.


Subsequently, the provincial election commission was forced to suspend the results for LA-17 (Poonch-Sudhnoti I) and postpone the election in LA-37 (Lahore).


Throughout the day on Sunday, reports continued to surface of severe violations of electoral law, both within the territory and in Punjab, which was the only province whose Kashmiri diaspora was voting for the PoK Legislative Assembly election.


Kashmiris in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will vote later, as elections for their seats were postponed due to a poor law and order situation.


In LA-17, political activists set election officials' offices on fire, which resulted in burning of the records of the returns that had been filed, forcing the Election Commission to suspend the results from that constituency.


It was not immediately clear which candidate had been in the lead in that constituency and which party's activists were responsible for the violence.


Meanwhile, activists from the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) clashed with those from Punjab's ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), resulting in several instances of violence in Lahore that left several people injured and caused the Election Commission to postpone the election for the Kashmiri diaspora in Lahore and Sheikhupura districts (LA-37).


In Punjab, the police have registered nine cases against PPP workers after they began protesting against what they described as blatant rigging by PML-N activists. Ghulam Abbas Mir, a PML-N candidate, however, claimed that only one of the cases was against the PPP workers, and that involved vote rigging.


Sources told The Express Tribune that the PML-N had formulated committees in every constituency where the Kashmiri diaspora was voting, in a bid to influence election officials to allow manipulation of the voting and election results to suit the PML-N. Allegations of bribery were also levelled against several officers manning the polling booths. (ANI)


Read More: Poonch | Muzaffara

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