While welcoming the results of the general elections of February 18, the Peoples Resistance noted that the overall results came about despite massive pre-poll manipulation in the form of compromising the independence of judiciary and media, illegal transfers and postings, and an incomplete and flawed electoral role. PR also strongly condemned the widespread rigging itself that marked the February 18 polls in Karachi and called for action against those involved in the manipulation of votes cast that day.
Independent reports confirm overstuffing of ballot boxes, higher volume of votes despite low turnout, harassment at the polling stations, voting without ID card, absence of voters names on the electoral list and the overwhelming presence of a certain partys workers across a large number of polling stations in the city. According to one report, some polling stations registered 140% voters turnout despite a low turnout generally witnessed in the city.
Peoples Resistance has many individual testimonies complaining of harassment, rigging and being coerced to vote in a certain partys favour. Voters complained that their ballot papers were already stamped on the kite symbol, that they were not provided privacy at the polling booths that the presiding officers themselves asked voters to stamp the kite symbol. Many gave in to the presiding officers coercion, afraid to risk a confrontation, especially in the overwhelming presence of the partys activists at the polling booths. Voters also complained that they were handed over up to 50 ballot papers to stamp against their ID cards. “I was asked to stamp the kite symbol on all of them, said one voter.
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