The local government (LG) elections in the remaining 65 tehsils of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 18 districts will be held today (Thursday).
Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif said in a press conference that the government had completed all arrangements for the election day, and foolproof security would be provided to 8.057 million people exercising their right to vote.
He said that as compared to the first phase of elections, extra security had been provided to women candidates, adding that the Pakistan Army personnel would also be deployed if required.
Of the 6,176 polling stations set up for today’s polls, the Election Commission on Pakistan (ECP) has declared 1,609 polling stations “most sensitive”, 2,319 “sensitive” and 2,069 “normal” ahead of the elections.
The ECP data showed that 39,554 candidates were vying for 12,875 seats. A total of 651 candidates would contest for city mayor and tehsil chairman seats; 12,980 for general and neighbourhood councils; 2,668 for women seats; 6,451 for labour; 5,213 for the farmer and youth seats; and 57 have submitted nomination papers for religious minorities’ seats.
The election body has informed that a total of 1,318 candidates have been elected unopposed in 65 tehsils. Some 351 candidates have been elected unopposed on general seats, 533 on women seats, 151 on labour and farmer seats, 233 on youth seats and 50 on minority seats in village and neighbourhood councils.
The district administrations have also announced a holiday for schools in districts where the local government elections would take place.
Meanwhile, the ECP has finalised all arrangements to hold the second phase of LG polls.
According to the ECP, all polling material, including ballot papers and ballot boxes, as well as the polling staff would reach their respective polling station today under full security.
The distribution of polling material will start at 8 am in all 18 districts. Foolproof security measures have been adopted to maintain law and order during the polling process.
In these 18 districts, the total registered voters are 8,057,474, of which 4,489,771 voters are male and 3,567,703 are female. Of the total 6,176 polling stations, 1,246 are exclusively for males and 1,164 for females, while 3,766 are combined polling stations.
As many as 16,509 polling booths have been established, of which 9,218 are for males and 7,291 for females.
The chief election commissioner, ECP secretary and special secretary will personally supervise the election process.
It is pertinent to mention here that the ECP had announced to conduct local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 31, issuing the revised schedule for phase two of the polls in the province. In the first phase, local government elections were held in 66 tehsils of 17 districts on December 19.