Stage set for historic elections in erstwhile Fata on Saturday
PESHAWAR - Stage has been set for smooth and peaceful holding of first-ever historic elections in merged areas (former Fata) where 2.801 million registered voters would exercise the right of franchise to elect MPAs on 16 general seats of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Assembly on Saturday (tomorrow).
The Election Commission has completed all arrangements for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the elections in merged areas including Khyber, Bajaur, Mohmand, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan and South Waziristan and Frontier Regions. According to ECP, the total number of male voters is 1671308 and female 1130529.
ECP has setup 1896 polling stations including 482 male, 376 female and 1038 combined to facilitate the voters. A total of 285 candidates are in the run for elections including two women from different political parties and independents. The female candidates are contesting elections from Khyber and Kurram districts constituencies against general seats.
There are eight candidates nominated against four women reserved seats from merged areas and three contesting from the lone non-Muslim seat.
The elections would be held for three each seat of Bajaur and Khyber districts, two each in Mohmand, Khurram, North Waziristan, South Waziristan and one each in Orakzai district and ex frontier regions.
The army would be deployed inside and outside in most sensitive polling stations and outside of all other polling stations.
The Provincial Government has decided to make all-out efforts for installation of CCTV cameras on all polling stations including most sensitive polling stations.
Voters in presence of polling stations would be allowed to cast their votes after the expiry of scheduled time and soon after it counting of ballot papers would commence in presence of polling agents of the candidates. Carrying of arms, cameras and mobile phones would not be allowed inside of polling stations and strict actions would be taken against violators.
The ECP has made strong endeavours by arranging a series of workshops and seminars to lure maximum women voters on Election Day at polling stations. Women security personnel would also be deployed on all-female and combined polling stations to facilitate women voters. Great enthusiasm is being witnessed among tribal voters including young voters to poll their first-ever vote in the electoral process for KP Assembly.
The process of distribution of ballot papers to the constituencies has begun under the supervision of armed forces. Over 2.8m ballot papers have been printed for the said elections.
On directives of Chief Minister KP, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has set up a control room for the elections. The control room would be operational for 24 hours and would be in contact with other government departments for facilitating people. The chief minister has directed all the government departments to provide maximum facilities to people and voters on election day. The control room would start work from July 19-20.
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