Cantonment Board Elections: Polling continues for 206 general seats
More than 1,500 candidates are in the fray for 206 general seats of 39 cantonment boards of the country today while polling is underway.
According to the details, all the leading political parties have fielded their candidates but the main contest is expected to be between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Nationalist and religious parties, including the banned Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan (TLP), are also in the fray with a sufficient number of candidates in all four provinces.
Interestingly, all parties are running in the elections without any coalition.
There are 219 wards in 42 cantonment boards across the country but none of the 9 wards of Kamra, Cherat and Murree Gallies cantonments have a polling schedule from where candidates have been elected unopposed or polling has been postponed.
In addition, elections will not be held in 4 other wards of different cantonment boards where candidates have already returned unopposed.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced that it had made all necessary arrangements for the cantonment elections where polling would continue uninterrupted from 8 am to 5 pm.
Earlier this month, the PTI had asked the Election Commission to deploy troops inside and outside polling stations to ensure “peace and order” and “transparency” in the elections, but the ECP rejected the proposal.
A total of 1,513 candidates are contesting for the general member seats in 206 wards of cantonment boards, 878 in 112 wards of 19 cantonments in Punjab, 53 in 8 cantonments in Sindh and 33 in 9 cantonments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are 170 candidates in the wards and 47 candidates in 8 wards of 3 cantonments in Balochistan.
The PTI has fielded the highest number of 178 candidates in the four provinces, followed by the PML-N and the PPP with 140 and 112 candidates respectively.
According to statistics, 155 candidates are in the fray in 10 wards of Walton Cantonment, followed by 112 candidates and 95 candidates in Lahore and Gujranwala Cantonment respectively.
In Sindh, 98 and 88 candidates are contesting in Clifton and Faisal Cantonment respectively while 73 candidates are in the fray in Hyderabad Cantonment Board elections.
2.1 million registered voters
There are 2,197,441 voters in all 42 cantonments, including 1,154,551 men and 1,043,190 women. According to the Election Commission, 5,080 polling booths have been set up in 1,644 polling stations.
The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) is monitoring the cantonment board elections for the first time with a team of 74 male and 46 female observers.
According to an official FAFN announcement, the 120 observers will monitor the voting and counting process at 460 polling stations, while FAFEN will release its observation report to the media and other stakeholders on September 15.
The cantonment board election is the fifth major election exercise the nation is witnessing this year amid the coronavirus.
By-elections were held in February for seven seats in the National and Provincial Assemblies, followed by elections in Gilgit-Baltistan the same month, followed by Senate elections in March, and the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir elected their representatives in July.
Cantonment elections are being held in Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Wah, Taxila, Murree, Attock, Sanjwal, Jhelum, Mangla, Sargodha, Shorkot, Gujranwala, Kharian, Sialkot, Lahore, Walton, Okara, Multan and Bahawalpur (Punjab), Hyderabad, Karachi, Clifton, Malir, Korangi Creek, Munawara and Panu Aqil (Sindh), Peshawar, Risalpur, Nowshera, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, DI Khan, Abbottabad and Havelian (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Quetta, Zhob and Loralai (Balochistan).
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