Tariq Saeed Peshawar
Polling for local government elections all over the country including nine Cantonments in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was held Sunday in peaceful manner.
Counting was under way in the 5000 polling booths set up in as many as 1644 polling stations at 42 Cantonments where the voting process started at 8am and continued till 5pm without any break amid tight security though small incidents were reported at few polling stations.
The polling process over all remained peaceful though the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had not acceded to the govern-ment demand of deployment of Army during the electioneering process to ensure free fair and trans-parent elections.
Candidates and their supporters complained of sale purchase of votes at number of polling stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly by the independ-ent candidates, where great hustle bustle was seen during the voting process.
There are 42 cantonment boards all over the country and according to Election Commission of Pakistan no polling was held in Kamra, Cherat and Murree cantonments.
Besides, candidates have already been elected unopposed in several wards of various can-tonment boards.
As per the details over 5,000 polling booths were set up in 1,644 polling stations. A total of 2,197,441 voters, including 1,154,551 men and 1,043,190 women, are registered in all the 42 cantonment boards.
A total of 1,513 candidates are in the run for 206 general seats in as many wards of the cantonment boards.
Though all major political parties have fielded their candidates, but a close contest is ex-pected among the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
878 candidates are in the field in 112 wards of 19 cantonments in Punjab, 418 in 53 wards of eight cantonments in Sindh, 170 candidates in 33 wards of nine cantonments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and 47 candidates in eight wards of three canton-ments in Balochistan.
The ruling PTI has fielded over 170 candidates in all the four provinces, followed by 140 of the PML-N and 112 of the PPP. 105 candidates of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) are in the run in the four provinces.
All the parties with major being the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party had gone for elaborate convassing for the elections and con-ducted door to door campaign in the Cantt areas with candidates and their supporters even presented gifts to the voters at their homes during the electioneering.