News Desk |
For the first time in over seven decades’ history of Pakistan, elections for 16 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly seats are being held in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) July 20, 2019
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), a total of 285 candidates, including two women, are competing for the 16 provincial assembly seats. The nominees include candidates of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), JUI-F, Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and independents.
Polling began in 16 districts at 8am and will conclude at 5pm. Security forces have been deployed inside and outside 554 highly sensitive polling stations.
The women candidates – Naheed Afridi of the ANP and Malasa of the JI – are contesting election in PK-106 Khyber-I and PK-109 Kurram-II, respectively. Polling began in 16 districts at 8am and will conclude at 5pm. Security forces have been deployed inside and outside 554 highly sensitive polling stations.
The elections are historic as voters from the ex-FATA are taking part in the first polls after being merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in line with the 25th constitutional amendment passed by parliament last year. Earlier, the residents of Fata were only allowed to take part in the country’s lower house polls.
— Farhad Ali (@farhadkhan204) July 20, 2019
The ECP data reveals that PTI has fielded 16 candidates in the race, JUI-Fazl (JUI-F) 15, ANP 14, PPP 13, JI 13, PML-N 5, QWP 3 JUI-Sami (JUI-S) 2, PSPK 2, while 202 are running as independents. Interestingly, PTI is the only political party which has fielded candidates for every constituency.
Total 2.8m voters eligible to vote
A total of 2.8 million voters, including 1.67 million men and 1.13 million women, are eligible to vote to elect their representatives for the provincial assembly. The Express Tribune reported that the voting will take place under tight security at 1,896 polling stations, of which 482 are for men, 376 for women, and 1,038 are combined.
In addition to 16 seats, there are five reserved seats – four for women and 1 for minorities – which will be filled in line with the number of votes each party attains in the general polls.
The paper reported that Bajaur district consists of the largest number of voters which is 534,003 followed by Khyber district, which has 532,087 voters. Three seats each have been allocated for the two districts.