Tariq Saeed Peshawar
As the election campaign for the by-elections on three vacant seats of the National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, scheduled for October 16 (Sunday), will end today (Friday) at midnight, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has on Thursday finalized all arrangements in this regard with the district administrations adopting foolproof security measures to hold the polls in peaceful and amicable manners.
Officials said the candidates violating the ban will face action under Election Act 2017. The constituencies wherein a by-election is scheduled included NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, and NA-31 Peshawar-V respectively. The total number of voters in these constituencies is over 1450,000. Out of which the number of men voters is over 8, 50,000 while 6, 42,000 women voters are expected to exercise their right of franchise. The polling will begin at 8:00 A.M and will continue till 5:00 P.M. without any intervals.
However, voters present inside the polling stations will be allowed to cast their votes despite the expiry of the time. A total of 16 candidates are in run from these constituencies. 4 each candidates are in run from NA-22 Mardan and NA-24 Charsadda while 8 candidates are contesting from NA-31, and Peshawar-V respectively. Some 979 polling stations have been established in all three NA constituencies including 429 polling stations for men and 351 for women while 199 polling stations are for both men and women. Out of the 979 polling stations 745 have been declared as highly sensitive and 234 as sensitive.
The police have adopted abreast security measures. The election material including ballot papers would be handed over to presiding officers on October 15 (Saturday) and dispatched to polling stations. For evolving election strategy, a meeting among all returning officers, district administration, and concerned officers was also held to conduct this phase of the by-election in a better manner.
Special training has also been imparted to all presiding officers and polling staff for the compilation of election results. Media has been restricted from broadcasting any unofficial result till the passage of one month after the closure of the polling. Both Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and the ruling coalition PDM have chalked out their strategies to grab maximum seats in the By-elections.