PESHAWAR: Voting is underway for the country’s general elections to elect new members of the national and provincial assemblies amid tight security.
The polling got underway at 8:00am and will end at 6:00pm, while those inside in the polling stations will be allowed to vote even after the polling time ends.
There are a total of 105.95 million registered voters in Pakistan who will select their new representatives from amongst the total 11,673 candidates vying for 272 seats of the National Assembly and 571 seats of four provincial assemblies. For the National Assembly constituencies, various political parties have fielded 1,805 candidates while 1,623 independents are also in the poll arena. Similarly, parties have fielded 3,856 candidates, whereas 4,389 independents are also in the field from the four provinces.
Despite a wave of terrorist attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, voters are showing courage and resilience to come for voting.
A huge polling staff i.e. 819,119 has been moved for the conduct of polling across Pakistan. For ensuring smooth polling, peace and security, 350,000 Army personnel and around 450,000 police officers and constables will remain alert. Over 17,000 polling stations have been declared highly sensitive.
The government has already announced public holiday today (Wednesday) for the elections.
Major political parties in the field are the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Awami National Party (ANP) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) are also among the contenders.