General

12,570 candidates vying for 849 NA, PA seats: ECP

As many as 12,570 candidates will be contesting for a total 849 seats of national and provincial assemblies in the general election scheduled for July 25, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
As per data released by ECP, 3,675 candidates are standing for 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while 8,895 candidates are in the contest for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies.
The ECP data shows 1,696 candidates will contest from Punjab, 872 from Sindh, 760 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 303 from Balochistan for the 272 general seats of the National Assembly.
Of the 3,675 candidates in the run for NA seats, 44 are non-Muslims and 172 are women.
Meanwhile, 4,242 candidates, of which 174 are women and 32 are non-Muslims, will fight for 297 general seats of the Punjab Assembly.
For the 130 general seats of the Sindh Assembly, 2,382 candidates, including 91 women and 39 non-Muslims, are taking part in the poll contest.
ECP data further revealed that 1,264 will compete for 99 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats. The number includes 79 women and 20 non-Muslims.

Moreover, 1,007 candidates, including 42 women and 22 non-Muslims, are vying for the 51 general seats of the Balochistan Assembly.
On Monday, the ECP declared as many as 20,700 polling stations sensitive in its briefing to Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk.
The electoral body also briefed the premier over possible nefarious plans to sabotage the election process. It recommended the caretaker government to set up monitoring centres in all four provinces with the assistance of security agencies.
The ECP demanded the caretaker government to install CCTV cameras on sensitive polling stations, and to provide air support during the transportation of ballot papers to the polling stations.
Earlier, ECP in its statement announced to extend the time for polling in the July 25 general election by an hour in order to ensure the maximum participation of voters.
As per the revised timings, polling will now be held from 8am to 6pm, for a total of 10 hours uninterrupted.
Sources said this is the first time the polling duration has been extended across the board in the country’s electoral history.