According to the unofficial and incomplete results , the candidate of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Syed Ameer Ali Shah won the by-polls on PS 52 in Umerkot district with ‘ the meaningful margin’ over his rival Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). Mr Shah, according to the unofficial results of all 128 polling stations, polled around 55,904 votes while his rival could bag nearly 30, 921 votes.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Syed Ali Mardan Shah in early last year and the by-elections in the constituency were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The PPP leadership awarded the ticket to the son of Syed Mardan Shah, Syed Ameer Ali Shah while GDA saddled the former Sindh Chief Minister, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim with the responsibility to contest the by-polls. The voting process was disturbed and halted at some polling stations for a few hours due to the clashes between the supporters of both main contestants. The clashes left as many as eight people injured with no major damage during the day-long process.
The Election Commission of Pakistan had finalised the arrangements for the by-election on Monday, declaring 50 polling stations to be highly sensitive. Speaking to the media persons, the provincial election commissioner Mohammad Anwar Chohan said. “There are a total of 128 polling stations, out of which 40 are sensitive and 50 highly-sensitive. Given the sensitivity of the situation, we have decided to deploy rangers’ personnel to prevent any untoward incident. ” The ECP official said that there were a total of 154,000 votes registered in PS-52, out of which more than 70,000 are female voters.
Regarding the election staff, the ECP officials said 128 presiding officers, 432 assistant presiding officers, 432 polling officers, and 1,421 policemen and rangers’ personnel were deployed to conduct the process. They added that CCTV cameras were installed with strict instructions that no one except a presiding officer can use a mobile phone.The government has declared a public holiday in the constituency to facilitate the voters for casting their votes. The PPP workers after the initial results came on the roads in Umerkot and other towns to celebrate their unofficial victory over their arch rival Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.
The party leaders also took to Twitter and other social media websites and congratulated Mr Shah for his unofficial victory, local party leadership, workers and voters of Umerkot district. They termed the results as the direct message to the Prime Minister Imran Khan and his allies that the people of Sindh and the country were sick of their ill-conceived policies and their failure to deliver to the people of the country.
The reaction of Dr Arbab and his allies was awaited when this story was filed on Monday night.