ANI Photo | Pakistan: Voting underway for by-election in Multan’s NA-148 constituency

Polling is being conducted for the by-election in Multan’s NA-148 constituency of Pakistan, with the main contest between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Sunni Ittehad Council-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) coalition, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
The seat had fallen vacant after PPP leader Yusuf Raza Gilani, the recently elected Senate chairman, stepped down. In the polls held on February 8, Gilani registered to win in the seat by 293 votes.
Earlier in April, Yousaf Raza Gillani and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Syedal Khan Nasir were elected as Pakistan’s Senate chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.
Senate Secretary Qasim Samad Khan confirmed their election to the top roles in the upper house of the Pakistani parliament, Dawn reported. As many as 41 newly elected Senators were sworn in as members of the House in a session of Pakistan’s Senate amid a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders.
The main contest is expected between Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Qasim Gilani and PTI-supported Barrister Taimur Malik. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) did not field its candidate for by-election due to its coalition with the PPP at the federal and provincial levels and vowed support for the PPP candidate.
A total of 72 polling stations have been kept for women and another 72 for men, while 121 are combined. Eight candidates are contesting the elections, according to Dawn report.
Arrangements were made for the by-election after the poll campaign concluded on Saturday. The district administration had created a plan for the by-poll, and election material was sent to all 275 polling stations.
Multan Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rizwan Qadeer spoke about transparency and a peaceful environment as per the instructions given by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Qadeer said security measures were taken and the deployment of additional police personnel had been made. He further said surveillance cameras had been installed at sensitive places, and strict action would be taken against any disruptions to law and order.
According to the office of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Muhammad Sohail Chaudhry, 3,829 police officials will be deployed on duty for the security of 275 polling stations, Dawn reported.
In a statement, the ECP said media outlets would be allowed to broadcast election results one hour after the conclusion of polling, stressing that these results would be unofficial and subject to change.

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