KARACHI     -   Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi on Friday submitted an application to provincial chief of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), raising his suspicions over the electoral process after last minute changes of the presiding officers in the constituency.

The letter addressed to the election commissioner Sindh and submitted on Friday, stated they had come to know through reliable sources that presiding officers (ROs) appointed for NA-205 were changing at this stage of elections.

The elections in the constituency are scheduled for Tuesday (July 23) with Maher community on both sides contesting polls under the banner of PPP and PTI and its coalition partners in federal government.

The opposition leader while condemning the move said that the action of the RO tantamount to election rigging. He requested the commissioner to intervene and halt the illegal action that is against election rules.

He further demanded to reverse all transfers and said if any transfers are necessary then it should be carried out with the consent of all the candidates.

“We believe that all transfers are being done under pressure from the ruling party in the province,” he said in the letter and also called for probe into the matter at the earliest.

Talking to media outside the ECP Sindh office after submitting the application, Naqvi said that they demanded list of officials transferred in the process of changing presiding officers but it was not handed over to them.

He warned that if the current situation persists then they would challenge the electoral process. “We do not want to make by-polls controversial but it looks that the ECP is supporting the PPP candidate,” he said adding that no action was also taken against PPP candidate for concealing his assets.

Meanwhile, the provincial election commissioner has also visited the NA-205 Ghotki constituency before polls where he met the administrative officials managing polls affairs and took briefing from them over polls arrangements.

The provincial election commissioner Yousuf Khattak also called for better women participation in the electoral process during the visit and said that the election body would ensure their participation. “Action will be taken against anyone under section 9 of the Election Act 2017 for halting women to vote,” he said and also urged political parties to bring women to polling stations in large numbers.

He said that in order to ensure a peaceful process of poll in the constituency, the election body has also imposed complete ban on moving with arms in the constituency so that voters could take part in the process freely.