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September 17, 2017

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Crucial NA-120 by-polls today

Crucial NA-120 by-polls today

LAHORE: A tough contest is expected between the PML-N and PTI candidates in the NA-120 by-election today (Sunday) as the ECP has finalised arrangements to hold polling in a peaceful manner under the supervision of army.

As many as 44 candidates are in the run, including PML-N’s Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid, for the all-important National Assembly seat which fell vacant after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as premier in Panama Papers case.

The political pundits are calling this contest ‘duel of dames’, saying the outcome will determine the future course of the PML-N and set
tone for next year’s general elections.

Interestingly, Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, supported by Milli Muslim League (MML), has emerged as a visible contender. However, the ECP has made it clear that the MML is not a registered party.

The locals are of the view that PML-N and PTI will contest for top slot while PPP’s Faisal Mir and Yaqoob will contest for the third position. Moreover, they predicted that the right wing-based Yaqoob will beat Faisal, a representative of the left, with a clear margin.

The ECP has shifted the material to polling stations under the supervision of the army, including 335,700 ballot papers and 11,000 XIV forms (statement of count). 

More than 1,500 army personnel, 7,000 police officials and 586 traffic wardens have been deployed for the by-election. All the polling stations of the constituency have been declared sensitive. The army personal will perform their duties in and outside of each and every polling station.

It is pertinent to mention that the ballot papers were printed under the supervision of army at the Printing Corporation of Pakistan – a process was monitored by the CCTV cameras.

There are 321,786 registered voters in the constituency out of which 179,642 are male and 142,144 are female.

According to final polling scheme for NA-120 by polls, the ECP has set up 220 polling stations, out of which 103 are for men, 98 for women and the remaining 19 are combined. The number of at these 220 polling stations is 568 [310 for men and 258 for women].

As many as 220 presiding officers, 568 assistant presiding officers and 568 polling staff have been appointed by the ECP. The polling will start at 8 am and conclude at 5 pm without any break.

Postal ballot has been allowed for public servants working in other cities and the prisoners.

Another major step taken by the ECP for NA-120 by-poll is a pilot project of testing biometric verification machines at 39 polling stations.

The biometric verification machines can only verify thumb impressions of a voter and cannot be used for casting votes electronically.

The names of contenders with their symbols for NA-120 are: Aajasim Sharif (emergency light), Arshad Mehmood Butt (coins), Ameer Bahadur Khan Hoti (lantern), Inamullah Khan (oil tanker), Muhammad Khurram (medal), Tayyab Jamil (goat), Pervez Akhter Gujjar (pressure cooker), Jawed Yousaf (bottle), Hasnain Gondal (lighter).

Abid Hussain (Minar-e-Pakistan), Liaqat Abbas (electric heater), Khalid Waleed (stapler), Mian Muhammad Nauman (laptop), Mirza Muhammad Ashraf (missile), Dr Yasmin Rashid (bat), Rohi Bano Khokhar (duck), Sajida Mir (victory sign), Sarfraz Qureshi (fridge), Sumaira Ali (lotus), Muhammad Shakeel (water tank), Muhammad Waseem (electric water pump), Azhar Hussain Rizvi (crane), Ziauddin Ansari (scale), Abdul Rehman (roller of wood), Irfan Khalid (deep freezer).

Ata Muhammad Kasuri (ship), Allama Mehar Ghulam Shabir (calendar), Faisal Mir (arrow), Qaisar Mahmood (calculator), Kulsoom Nawaz (tiger), Muhammad Ashfaq (road roller), Zubair Khan (sheep), Farooq Raja (carom board), Naveed Nawaz (deer).

Hadi Shah (geyser), Yaqoob Sheikh (emergency saver), Munsif Awan (coat), Laiq-ur-Reham (drum), Nasir Saleem (railway track), Nadeem Hafeez (table tennis ball), Ambar Shahzada (tawa), Noor Naeem (dhol) and Yasir Islam (curtain).

Meanwhile, the ANP candidate, Ameer Bahadur Khan Hoti, backed out of the contest in support of Begum Kulsoom.

 

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