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July 20, 2019

Polling on erstwhile Fata seats being held today

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APP
July 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalised all necessary arrangements to hold elections today (Saturday) on 16 provincial assembly seats of merged districts of the erstwhile Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata), which are now part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Addressing a joint press conference on Friday, Additional Director General Elections Sharif Ullah and Director General Elections Nadeem Qasim said three-tier security arrangements had been made to enable the voters to exercise their right of franchise in a secure environment.

Sharif Ullah said the commission had already completed training of election staff and their deployment in these areas, adding all relevant polling material had been sealed in election bags which would be handed over to the presiding officers as per distribution plan. This material would be further dispatched to the polling stations with complete security, he said.

According to him, total registered voters in these areas are 2,801,834 —1,671,305 male and 1,130,529 female. The ECP has appointed eight district returning officers, 36 assistant returning offices and 1,897 presiding officers. A total of 282 candidates have been contesting elections on 16 provincial assembly seats, while 28 candidates are contesting elections on seats reserved for women and non-Muslim — including 22 on women seats and six on non-Muslim seats.

The ECP has set up 1,897 polling stations — 482 for men, 376 for women and 1,039 combined. Speaking on the occasion, Qasim said the Army troops would be deployed outside all 1,897 polling stations, while personnel would be deployed inside and outside the 554 highly sensitive polling stations.

He said in order to encourage female voters to cast their votes more conveniently, female security staff would be deployed at all female polling stations and female booths of combined polling stations.

According to him, the ECP has already directed the provincial government for installation of CCTV cameras at all the booths of 1,897 polling stations and in this regard standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued to the concerned quarters.A complaint centre has been established at ECP Secretariat in Islamabad as well as at ECP office Peshawar.

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