Presiding officer, husband arrested for alleged rigging in LG polls in Peshawar

Abubakar Saddiq

  • Heavy police party arrives at polling station and takes accused presiding officer and her husband into custody in Peshawar.
  • ECP takes notice and changes entire polling staff at affected polling station.
  • Opposition party workers catch polling staff red-handed while allegedly stamping on election symbol for a PTI's candidate.

PESHAWAR: A presiding officer deputed at a women's polling station in Peshawar was arrested along with her husband over allegations of rigging, long before the polling for the ongoing local government election started, Geo News reported Saturday night.

A heavy police party arrived at a polling station in the city's neighbourhood council 34, Tehsil Gor Khatri Saturday night soon after the alleged pre-poll rigging was protested by the leaders and workers of different political parties on Saturday night over reports of ballot papers being stamped in favour of PTI's candidate.

The police took the accused presiding officer and her husband into custody and shifted them to a police station, keeping them safe from the angry mob.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took notice of the matter and changed the entire polling staff at the affected polling station.

According to Daily Jang, the opposition party workers caught the polling staff red-handed while allegedly stamping on the election symbol for a particular party's candidate for the slot of the mayor city council on Saturday night.

The protestors tried to enter the polling station but the police kept them outside. At this, they blocked the road adjacent to it and started shouting slogans.

Meanwhile, the relevant assistant commissioner also arrived on the spot.

'Casting fake vote since morning'

Speaking to Geo News on the incident, PPP's Nighat Orakzai claimed PTI workers were casting 5,000 "fake votes" in favour of their candidate.

"The [PTI members] were casting fake votes since morning [...] the assistant commissioner has said that respective returning officers would be punished," she added.

'Opposition playing tricks'

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to KP Chief Minister for Information Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif said that the opposition was playing tricks to allay their fears of failure in the election. He said that the entire polling staff is deputed at the behest of the ECP.

Said said that ECP is an autonomous body and is responsible for holding free and fair elections.

He said that the government is fulfilling all its responsibilities to hold the election peacefully and will ensure the investigations into the alleged pre-poll rigging.

Polling under way in KP for first phase of LG elections

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is holding the first phase of the local government elections in its 17 districts today (Sunday). The polls will be held in the rest of KP next month.

Polling started at 8am and will continue till 5pm.

Strict security arrangements have been made, with a total of 79,479 police and other law enforcement agencies' personnel deployed in the districts where the ballot is taking place.