ECP declares 1727 polling stations for by-elections ‘highly sensitive’

Islamabad (HRNW): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared as many as 1727 polling stations out of the total 7,489, set up for by-elections being held in 35 constituencies of national and provincial assemblies on Sunday (tomorrow), as ‘highly sensitive’. According to the ECP officials, 848 out of total 5,193 polling stations in Punjab, 544 of total 1555 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 201 of total 544 in Sindh and 134 of total 197 in Balochistan have been categorized as ‘highly sensitive’ The proportion of most sensitive polling stations is highest in Balochistan (68.02 per cent), followed by KP (34.98pc), Sindh (20.20pc) and Punjab (16.32pc).

Security cameras had been installed at all the sensitive polling stations, which would be guarded by army troops, officials said. The deployment of army troops was started on Friday and they would remain deployed there till Oct 15, officials said. The in-charges of army personnel deployed at the polling stations will enjoy the powers of a magistrate first class during the entire period of their deployment and will be empowered to summarily try those found involved in impersonation, capturing of polling stations or violation of other relevant provisions of the law. District returning officers and returning officers for the by-elections have also been given powers of magistrate first class.

Total 11 National Assembly’s constituencies, for which by-polls will be held, nine are in Punjab and one each in Sindh and KP. Two Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s candidates have already been elected unopposed from Punjab Assembly’s constituencies PP-87 (Mianwali) and PP-296 (Rajanpur), by-polls will now be held for 24 provincial constituencies, 11 in Punjab, two in Sindh, nine in KP and two in Balochistan. Most of these seats had been vacated by those who were elected on more than one seat in the July 25 general elections. Among them was also Prime Minister Imran Khan who won elections from all the five NA constituencies he contested.

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