Crucial by-elections taking place today
All is set for the by-election today in 35 constituencies countrywide in Pakistan.
Out of a total of 7,489 polling stations, 1,727 have been declared highly-sensitive.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), by-elections will be held in 11 National Assembly constituencies and 24 provincial constituencies.
Out of 11 National Assembly constituencies, one is in Islamabad, eight in Punjab, and one each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
A total of 51,235 polling personnel will be involved in the electoral exercise.
Army personnel will guard the polling stations, both inside and outside, and will be responsible for security from October 12 to 15.
The ECP issued notifications on the shifting of four polling booths to new locations (buildings) as requested by the regional election commissioner/ district election commissioner (DRO), NA-131, Lahore.
The commission wrote to the DRO in response to his letters written to the Election Commission Secretariat on October 5 and 8.
Meanwhile, a three-member delegation of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) met ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohamed and shared their concern over the arrest of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif just ahead of the by-election.
The PML-N team comprised Senators Sardar Yaqoob Nasir, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, and Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The PML-N leaders emphasised that the arrest of their party leader, who’s also Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, would have a negative impact on the byelection.
Speaking with media persons outside the Election Commission Secretariat after the meeting, Aurangzeb and Tanvir said that they had apprised the ECP secretary of their concerns.
They also shared their party’s reservations about the July 25 general election.
They said that ballot counting after polling should be made before polling agents, and that Form-47 be prepared before the candidates and their polling agents.
PML-N chairman Raja Mohamed Zafarul Haq, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, has already written a letter to the ECP chief Justice (retired) Mohamed Raza Khan, requesting that he order immediate release of the PML-N president.
The letter had said that with the by-election just round the corner, a level playing field was not being ensured for all the contesting parties.
He described the arrest of the PML-N president as prepoll rigging.
Election presiding officers carry election materials for a by-election after receiving them from the distributing point in Lahore yesterday. More than 100 candidates are contesting for 35 National Assembly and Provincial Assembly seats in the by-election scheduled for today.