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3,675 candidates to contest for NA, 8,895 for PA today

By M J Hayat

LAHORE: As many as 3,675 candidates for the National Assembly seats while 8,895 would be contesting for the provincial assemblies seats across the country, as per the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The general election 2018 will be contested in the four provinces for 270 seats of NA and 570 seats of provincial assemblies respectively in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Punjab and Sindh.
As per the Election Commission of Pakistan sources in Balochistan 303 candidates will contest for NA seats in three categories including 287 for general seats while 16 for women seats while 1007 candidates including 943 for general, 42 for women, and 22 for non- Muslim seats for provincial assembly .
Similarly, 760 NA candidates will contest for 725 seats for National Assembly general and 35 for women seats while 1,264 candidates will fight for PA 1165 general seats, 79 for women, and 20 for non-Muslim seats in KPK.
In Punjab as many as 1,696 candidate including 1,623 for general and 73 for women seats would contest for NA seats while 4242 candidates would contest for PA seats including 4036 general, 174 women and 32 non-Muslim seats.
Likewise, 872 candidates including 824 general and 48 women would contest for NA seats in Sindh while 2,382 candidates including 2,252 general, 91 women, 39 non-Muslim for PA seats in the provinces.
The 44 non-Muslim candidates would also contest for the NA seat.
On the whole 3,675 candidates for NA seats and 8,895 candidates for provincial assemblies will be contesting for 270 NA and 570 PA seats in the country for the general election 2018, the Election Commission of Pakistan sources indicated.
On the other hand, the Election Commission data shows that more than 106 million eligible voters will exercise their right of votes. The data shows that total registered male voters 5.9 million and female voters 4.7 million will cast their votes in favour of the candidates of their choices.
Around 53,000 observers to
monitor elections
As many as 53,000 international, national, local and media observers will monitor the upcoming general election scheduled to be held on July 25. A European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) comprising around 100 observers is scheduled to monitor the election process. The mandate of the EUEOM is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and assess the extent to which the elections are in compliance with the laws of Pakistan, as well as with international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Pakistan is a signatory.
The mission had received accreditation for its long-term observers, allowing for their deployment in the coming days. Soon after the election day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement, Private news channel reported. The mission will stay in Pakistan until September to compile a comprehensive final report including recommendations for future electoral processes.
, will be published approximately two months later. The main objectives of EU Election Observation are to support the democratic process in partner countries, enhance public confidence in the electoral process and strengthen respect for human rights and rule of law. Besides this around 400 international observers from various countries will also monitor the election process. Around 50,000 national, local observers have also been issued accreditation cards to monitor the election process, while 30,000 media personnel across the country will also visit the polling stations to observe the process. Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) will monitor the election process in 85 per cent of total polling stations to be set up by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for elections. Youth abandons adopting political views, affiliations of parents The family members once showing consensus over voting for the same political party’s candidates in the previous elections are divided this time and decided to go for different candidates on the important day of election, which can only shape the destiny of nation. Thanks to the inventors of social media and those who encouraged boom of private media channels as these were the two main factors behind awareness of the younger generation about the different political parties’ agendas and their right to vote. The younger generation has started abandoning the practice of acquiring or following the political views of the parents and behaving more sensibly ahead of election through showing their affiliation with their own favorite political party. “My parents have been voting for Pakistan Muslim League (N) for the years without realizing what benefit they received when this party was in power. Simply they do not want to change their political affiliations and go for voting differently”, Shaista Abid, a voter of NA 54 said. “However, I and my brother will vote for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Election Day. Our parents have not forced us to follow them blindly and allowed to go for supporting any of the political parties.—APP However they clearly said that they will never change their associations,” she said while talking to APP. It has been observed that those who are above 50 years of age show less adaptability to behave differently and change their political affiliation thus they keep on following their old affiliations. Thinking of giving chance to a new political party, I have decided not to vote for the old parties. If we want to bring prosperity in our country, we have to change our loyalties, Muhammad Akhtar, a voter of NA 53. “During the previous election, we have given vote to the same candidates our parents were supporting. Now my parents are standing on their previous stance however we are not satisfied with the old system as it is the matter of our future”, he observed. “My father will cast vote for Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal while me and my brother will go for PTI. We are just supporting the slogan of PTI which speaks of change, not a single person”. Irum Nazir, a voter of NA-52 said, “My father has a very strong affiliation with Jamat-i-Islami so we all family members never dare to vote for any other political party earlier but this time we all brothers and sisters are given chance to follow our own will and we have decided to vote for PTI”. She said the growing use of social media has created a sense of awareness among young generation and motivated them to come out and exercise their right to vote, if they want change.—APP

0ver 17m voters set to elect new members for KP Assembly
PESHAWAR: Over 17 million registered voters of Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) are all set to go for polling for election of 97 members for the provincial assembly. They would elect the new government of a political party securing majority of the house on Wednesday besides electing 51 members for the national assembly. Polling will start at 8am and continue till 6pm without any break. However, voters inside premises of polling stations would be allowed to cast their votes. The counting of ballot papers would begin soon after completion of polling process and results of would be displaced at permanent place of polling stations. The Government has declared July 25 as public holiday for facilitation of voters. The ECP has dispatched all election materials to the respective DROs and ROs amid tight security arrangements. Election would be held on 97 general seats out of 99 as polling on two constituencies have been postponed after assassination of the running candidates including Haroon Bilour (PK-78 Peshawar) and Ikramullah Khan Gandapur (PK-99DI Khan) in the suicide blasts. The Khyber Pakthunhkhwa has been swelled for 2018 general election both in terms of area as well as number of seats in the provincial assembly and national assembly. Though, the number of general seats of KP Assembly remained the same as that of 2013 i.e 99, however, the fresh delimitation of the constituencies in the province have led to the increase of certain PA seats in parts of the province whereas in some districts the number of seats were reduced. The numbers of provincial assembly seats of Peshawar district have been increased from 11 to 14 whereas in some district the number of seats was decreased after 2017 population census. In 2013 elections, PTI was emerged the single largest party with 50 seats on its board and thus formed the coalition government with the support of Jumat e Islami and some independents. All the major political parties have fielded candidates in sufficient numbers against 99 general seats of the provincial assembly with PTI on the top of the list followed MMA, PPP, ANP, PMLN and independents. Major contenders running for the national assembly seats from KP included heavyweights like Bilawal Bhutto from Malakand Shehbaz Sharif from Swat, Fazlur Rehman from DI Khan, Imran Khan from Bannu, Asfandyar Wali Khan and Aftab Sherpao from Charssada and Sirajul Haq from Dir Lower districts. Four former Chief Ministers including Akram Khan Durrani, Haider Khan Hoti, Aftab Sherpao and Pervez Khattak are also flexing muscles from their respective home districts. Former Governor KP, Gen Retd Iftikhar Hussain Shah is also contesting from his home constituency Kohat as independent candidate after he was refused ticket by the PTI. As many as 17.827million registered voters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including seven tribal districts would exercise their right of franchise to elect 51 MNAs and 97 MPAs amongst 1993 candidates for next five years 2018-23 amid tight security arrangements on Wednesday (July 25). In overall 15,316,299 registered voters including 8,705,831 male and 6,610,468 female voters would exercise right of franchise for 39 NA seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2,510,154 registered voters for 12 national assembly seats of tribal districts recently merged into KP, thus raising totally number of voters to 17.826 million in KP would go for polling on Wednesday. In KP, around 87,269 security personnel would be engaged in election duties to provide safe environment to voters in 11,132 polling stations. Out of 11,132 polling stations, around 2,572 have been declared most sensitive and 4,427 sensitive that would be guarded by security personnel for smooth conduct of elections. A total 25,720 personnel would be deployed on most sensitive polling stations, 30,989 on 4,427 sensitive polling stations and 20,680 security personnel at 4136 normal polling stations in the province.—APP As many as 14,530 presiding officers, 83,692 assistant presiding officers and 41,846 polling officers will perform duties in KP and tribal districts and frontier regions recently merged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All Deputy Commissioners have been nominated as District Monitoring Officers (DMCs) who would be assisted by monitoring teams comprising senior officials of district administration and others lines departments including Assistant Commissioners, Additional Assistant Commissioners, Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMO) officers etc for smooth and transparent conduct of elections. Around 10,351 closed-circuit television cameras have been installed at 2,572 most sensitive polling stations and 7,779 polling booths in the province. The candidates would not be allowed to take law in hands and disrupt polling process in the province and would be dealt in accordance with law.—APP

Fake ballot papers recovered in Sindh’s Umarkot district
Authorities on Tuesday arrested five men after recovering fake ballot papers from their possession in Umarkot district of Sindh.
The TV channel reported that, the ballot papers were recovered from a jeep near Pakistan chowk. The ballot papers were being shifted to an area in Sindh Assembly constituency PS-52, police said.
The suspects have been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation. They have been identified as Anwar Soomro, Hakim, Iqbal,Khangar and Nawab.


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