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NA-19 Haripur by-elections: Polling underway in 513 polling stations

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HARIPUR: After the order of Election Tribunal of the Supreme Court of Pakistan for re-polling in NA-19 (Haripur), polling is underway in the 513 polling stations of the constituency. 30 polling stations have been selected for voting through biometric machines.

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Over 577,480 people are expected to vote for the one candidate out of nine running for the vacant seat. Five candidates belong to political parties while rests of the four are independent. The candidates of political parties are Babaz Nawaz (PML-N), Raja Amir Zaman (PTI), Muhammad Tahir (PPP), Safeer Ahmed (APML) and Samiullah Khan (PML-S).

Dr Raja Amir Zaman from PTI had won the May 11, 2013 elections with 117,000 votes. However, runner-up Omar Ayub Khan, who belongs to the PML-N, challenged the results of 78 polling stations, accusing the winner of rigging. After re-polling on some polling stations, PML N Omer Ayub won the NA19 that was too challenged by the Raja Amir Zaman on the ground that re-polling should be held again in whole constituency instead of few polling stations.

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Tight security measurements have been taken by the local administration to ensure the peaceful situation during the re-elections.

Election Commission of Pakistan is also going to conduct the 1st Pilot Project (test run) using Biometric machines in the bye-elections of constituency of NA-19 (Haripur) on 30 polling. NADRA, PTA and UFONE will render technical assistance in this regard.

According to ECp, “Conduct of pilot project is in line with the desire of political parties which was conveyed through Electoral Reforms Committee of Parliament to the effect that a test run of biometrics may be conducted in any bye-election to educate general public about its use in electoral activity by following the ‘principle of evolution’ in a careful manner instead of revolution (sudden change) while introducing new technology in elections.”

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