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Elections 2018: A massive political exercise


News Analysis |

As the nation goes to polls today, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is optimistic about a record turnout of voters. ECP expects the voters’ turnout to be more than 55 %. The 2013 turnout was the highest in the federal capital territory (62.29 pc), followed by Punjab (58.38 pc), Sindh (51.58 pc), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (44.64 pc) and Balochistan (38.97 pc).

While talking to media, ECP secretary said out of the total 849 national and provincial assembly constituencies, polling would take place in 840 constituencies — 270 of the 272 National Assembly constituencies and 570 of the 577 provincial assembly constituencies.

In all 11,673 candidates are in the run, 3,428 for National Assembly and 8,245 for provincial assembly seats. For National Assembly seats, parties have fielded 820 candidates in Punjab, 441 in Sindh, 335 in KP, 173 in Balochistan and 36 in the federal capital. The number of independent candidates for National Assembly seats includes 714 from Punjab, 373 from Sindh, 386 from KP, 117 from Balochistan and 33 from the federal capital.

As many as 40,632 of the polling stations are combined and there are 23,104 male and 21,322 female polling stations. As many as 17,007 polling stations have been declared highly sensitive.

For provincial assembly seats, 8,245 candidates are in the run, 3,856 fielded by parties and 4,389 contesting independently. The number of independent candidates is higher for Punjab and Sindh assemblies than the party ticket holders. As many as 2,256 independents and 1,719 party ticket holders are contesting Punjab Assem¬bly seats while 1,186 independents and 993 party candidates are in the run for Sindh Assembly seats.

In KP and Balochistan there are 675 and 469 party ticket holders and 470 and 477 independents, respectively. Of the 120 parties enlisted with the ECP, 95 are contesting elections and seven of these 95 parties have failed to meet the mandatory requirement of awarding 5 % party tickets for general seats to women.

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A total of 8,508 polling stations and 244,687 polling booths have been established across the country. As many as 40,632 of the polling stations are combined and there are 23,104 male and 21,322 female polling stations. As many as 17,007 polling stations have been declared highly sensitive.

According to ECP records, there are 10.6 crore registered voters in the country of which almost 5.5 crore are male voters while 4 crore are female voters. Almost 1.6 million personnel have been deployed to provide security and assistance in the conducting of the elections 2018.

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