An exclusive report by Sooba Bhatti on “Local Bodies Election 2005” in Hyderabad

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On 25th August 2005 I Sooba Bhatti visited at Latifabad Hyderabad Polling Stations as observer on behalf of Election Commission of Pakistan.
At 8:00 a.m. I visited Tehsil Latifabad areas of UC 4 (Union Council) Polling Station No.1, 2 and 14,
UC5's PO (Polling Station) No.4 and Tehsil Qasimabad UC2's Polling Station No.2 and observed the Election process. My observations are as under:
The actual time of polling was 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
1. When I reached to the Polling Station at 8.00 a.m. the duty officers were not present at their respective Polling Station. Few responsible persons were come too late.
2. The Polling Station No.14 of UC4 located at Chest Clinic Latifabad #6, Hyderabad was lacking with facilities of drinking water and washrooms. There was no electricity in whole of the building. The building also was not cleaned. Duty Officers complained us for these lacking of facilities.
3. The behavior of security officers and the duty officers was good but they are not stopping the extra people.
4. There was no discipline at Polling Station, the voters were sitting and standing out of order.
5. The material of election was a local, pen, stamps, permanents ink and rubber stamps were not proper working. The duty staff and voters again and again complaining and requesting for arrangement of proper and good working condition material.
6. The election staff was not putting permanent ink on thumb of the voters.
7. As the inkpads were not properly inked, hence when voters had stamped the Ballot Papers, the ink had not appearing on election symbol of the candidate. After long time people themselves bought inkpads and gave to the election staff.
8. There were lot of problems at women's polling station, they had no any sense and awareness and information that how to cast vote. They were looking confused.
9. At polling station of UC5 for women, men were coming inside the polling area and when they were asked by us that why they are in women's polling area, then they answered that they are on duty.
10. There were no proper arrangements for secret place. People openly were casting vote by asking others or on advise of other persons.
11. Lot of people, especially women, were not permitted to cast vote as they had not their names in new voting lists while they had their names in old lists.
12. The children were also located at the polling station of UC5.
13. At UC4 Polling Station No.2 Polling Agents were replacing with other persons.
14. Lack of interest of people in election process was observed, as they were very less at the polling stations.
15. The people were very afraid at UC5 due to firing at afternoon.
16. There were no polling agents at UC5 after firing at afternoon.
17. At some polling stations voter had cast vote twice and thrice.
18. At morning the seals of ballot boxes were ok, but after 3.00 p.m. seals were opened and locks were broken at UC5.
It had also been observed that people have no sense and awareness that how to cast vote? It is very essential to aware people about election process properly.
Report By
Sooba Bhatti
Human Rights Activist &
Observer for Local Bodies Election 2005
Hyderabad Sindh Pakistan

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