Karachi (HRNW):By-election on 35 National and provincial assemblies will be held tomorrow (Sunday), with over 300 candidates including some political bigwigs in the running. Over five million registered voters, about 2.3 million women and over 2.7 million men, will exercise their right to vote. Overseas Pakistanis will vote for the first time in the by-polls. Seats up for grabs include 11 from National Assembly, 11 from Punjab Assembly, nine from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two each from Sindh and Balochistan. In Lahore’s NA-131 constituency, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Khawaja Saad Rafique will face Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Humayun Akhtar.
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is PML-N’s candidate from NA-124. His opponent in the constituency is PTI’s Ghulam Mohiuddin. For Karachi’s NA-243 constituency, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is expected to give tough competition to PTI. Over 9.9 million ballot papers have been printed for the by-elections and handed over to presiding officers of all polling stations. 7,489 polling stations have been set-up out which 1,727 have been declared as ‘highly sensitive’. On Thursday, the ECP constituted 27 monitoring teams to monitor the by-polls. The teams will examine the distribution of polling equipment and training of the polling staff. On the day of the by-polls, the teams will also monitor security arrangements, the result transmission system (RTS) and votes of the overseas Pakistanis in addition to the process of tabulation and compilation of results.