Rawlakot (October 21, 2018): Polling is under way for the by-election on a vacant seat of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
A total of 131 polling stations have been set up for 41,658 voters in the constituency amid stringent security. Thirty-seven polling stations have been declared sensitive and 28 highly sensitive.
The LA-18 seat was left vacant following the death of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khan Bahadur Khan.
Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Sardar Ghulam Sadiq, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Sawar Khan, PML-N’s Amir Altaf and Kashan Masood of Muslim Conference are among the contestants in the running.
Meanwhile, polling is also under way for Karachi’s National Assembly seat NA-247 and Sindh Assembly seat PS-111, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seat PK-71.By-elections for National Assembly seat NA-247 Karachi, Sindh Assembly seat PS-111 and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seat PK-71 are also being today.
Election Commission has finalized all necessary arrangements to hold the elections in a peaceful manner. ECP has also canceled employees holidays.
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NA-247 was vacated by President Arif Alvi, while PS-111 was vacated by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and PK 71 fell vacant after Shah Farman was appointed as Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
For NA-247, the PTI has nominated billionaire businessman and real estate developer Aftab Hussain Siddiqui while the Pakistan Peoples Party has given a ticket to showbiz celebrity Qaiser Nizamani. Others in the fray include Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Sadiq Iftikhar, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek’s Ali Nawab and Pak Sarzameen Party’s Arshad Vohra.
In the July 25 general elections held earlier this year, PTI’s Alvi had won the seat comfortably after securing 91,020 votes. His closest two contenders were Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan’s Syed Zaman Shah Jaffery with 24,680 votes and MQM’s Farooq Sattar with 22,780 votes.Observers believe PTI’s Siddiqui shall comfortably secure the seat as the party enjoys considerable support. Moreover, in the absence of the TLP, which had returned the second-highest tally on July 25 and enjoys support from Old City areas, there hardly seems to be any real competition.
According to the ECP, there are 240 polling stations in the constituency where around 546,451 voters, 295,567 men and 250,884 women, will be able to cast votes.
For PS-111, the PTI has allotted its ticket to Shahzad Qureshi, who is also the information secretary for party’s Karachi division. PPP’s Fayaz Pirdaza, MQM-P’s Dr Jahanzeb Mughal and independent candidate Jibran Nasir – a rights activist – are also in the fray.
On Sunday, the 178,965 registered voters, 94,719 men and 84,246 women, will be able to cast votes in 80 polling stations set up across the constituency.
With the exception of the PTI and PPP, no party has started campaigning as is the custom. The MQM has fielded candidates but its campaign is no where as enthusiastic as those from yester-years.In both constituencies, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has pledged support for the PPP while the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and the Jamaat-e-Islami have not fielded any candidate. According to the ECP, army personnel will be deployed at polling stations to ensure free and fair elections.
The Peshawar seat was vacated after Shah Faman was appointed governor. PTI’s Zulfiqar Khan and ANP’s Salahuddin are contesting the election along with three independent candidates.
Earlier on October 19, The Election Commission of Pakistan set up facilitation center for October 21 by-election on a national assembly and two provincial assembly seats.
The facilitation center to work from 8 am to 6 pm on the polling day.The voters of the concern constituencies can get the information regarding votes and results while election commission has issued telephone number for contact on the polling day as well.
The RTS experiments got success in the first phase of the by-election and results of the 35 constituencies have been announced till the midnight 2: pm by the help of RTS.