Political parties show muscles before end of election campaign


Sophia Siddiqui


The election campaign by all political parties concluded at midnight on Monday with all the parties and candidates made last ditch efforts by addressing public gatherings and holding corner meetings to garner maximum public.
Now the future of the political parties will be decided by the masses on Wednesday when they will go to the polling stations to cast their vote. Despite the violent hit electioneering which also saw the killing of three contesting candidates, the political analysts predict a good voter turnout.
Both the PML-N and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held rallies in major cities of Punjab, which has more than half of National Assembly seats and will play a key role in determining the winner of the general election.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif addressed a gathering in Dera Ghazi Khan — where he is contesting for an NA seat.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz’s son Hamza led a rally from Mochi Gate to Data Darbar in Lahore.
Shahbaz Sharif was earlier also scheduled to address at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi, but the event was cancelled late afternoon.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressed supporters at multiple places in Lahore — with large gatherings at Jallo Mor and Wapda Town — before the party formally ended its campaign with the meeting at Data Darbar.
Grand Cars and Bikes rally took place in Swabi, attended by thousands of PTI supporters.
Bilawal toured Northern Sindh on last day of campaign and ended his tour with fateha at the mazaar of the Bhuttos in Larkana.
Other political parties and candidates also held their final rallies on Monday. Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) isheld a jalsa atop the Liaqatabad Flyover in Karachi, while Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious parties, held a jalsa in Islamabad’s G-10 sector.
Over 12,570 candidates are in the run for National Assembly and four provincial assemblies.
Against the National Assembly seats, as many as 3,675 candidates are in the electoral race whereas 8,895 for the provincial legislatures.
From Sindh, 872 are contesting for the National Assembly seats and 2,382 for the provincial assembly.
For Balochistan’s National Assembly seats, there are a total of 303 candidates and 1,007 for its provincial assembly seats, including 287 general seats of National Assembly and 943 seats of the Provincial Assembly.

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