LATEST: By-elections: Polling ends, counting underway on eight NA, three Punjab Assembly seats

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LAHORE, OCT 16: Voting for by-elections in 11 constituencies in three provinces came to an end and counting began on Sunday, with reports of clashes between PTI and ANP workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and PTI claims of a lawmaker being “attacked” by “PPP goons” outside a polling station in Karachi marring an otherwise peaceful polling process.

Key developments

  • Imran says he’s contesting against PDM, ECP and “namaloom afraad”.
  • ECP rejects Imran Khan’s claims as “baseless and misleading”.
  • Workers of PTI and ANP clash in Peshawar polling station; one injured, two taken into custody.
  • Rana Sanaullah issued notice by Punjab election commission for code of conduct violation in Faisalabad.
  • PTI claims PPP “goons” attacked MPA Bilal Ghaffar in Karachi; police say it was a personal dispute.
  • PPP’s Saeed Ghani says PTI losing and making excuses.
  • PPP’s Sharjeel posts video and claims PTI worker threatening election official in Karachi.
  • Three arrested in Sheikhupura for allegedly possessing weapons.

The polling process started at 8am and culminated at 5pm.

The by-elections were held for three seats each of the national and provincial assembly in Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib and Multan in Punjab; three NA seats in Charsadda, Peshawar and Mardan in KP; and two NA seats in Sindh’s Korangi and Malir.

It is unprecedented in the country’s political history that one candidate, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, is running for as many as seven NA seats out of eight up for grabs.

As polling commenced, Imran tweeted that he was contesting against “all of PDM, the Election Commission and ‘namaloom afraad’”.

After braving broadsides from the PTI leadership throughout the day, the ECP, in a statement issued in the afternoon, said the statements of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Omar Ayub, Farrukh Habib and others are “completely baseless and misleading and have no relation to reality”.

“The ECP is determined to conduct free, fair and impartial elections, and so far, with the blessings of God, it is what is happening.

“If anyone tries to influence the election process, he will be dealt with strictly according to the Constitution and law.”

A total of 101 candidates from different political parties and independents are taking part in the vote: 52 in Punjab, 33 in Sindh and 16 in KP. Around 4.472 million voters are registered in these constituencies.

The ECP said in a statement that it has passed “strict instructions” to provincial election commissioners to ensure the immediate arrest of anyone that tries to influence the polling process.