Printing of ballot papers for first phase of LG polls in Punjab orderedPakistan
LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered printing of ballot papers for the first phase of local government elections in Punjab to be held on Oct 31.
For 48.64 million registered voters in the province, where the elections will be held in three phases, 91.095m ballot papers will be needed.
Officials of the election commission’s Punjab office said on Saturday that army and Rangers personnel would be deployed only at the polling stations to be declared sensitive on the recommendations of district returning officers.
They said that security plan would be finalised seven days before the elections being held in the districts of Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Kasur, Okara, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Chakwal, Pakpattan, Lodhran, Bhakkar and Nankana.
Army and Rangers would assist police and local administration to ensure trouble-free elections at sensitive polling stations. Police would cover the rest of the polling stations.
Officials said the Punjab government had already deputed polling staff and started their training. Hundreds of thousands of employees of different provincial departments, mainly education, have been assigned the election duty.
Lists of candidates had been finalised on Oct 2. The candidates, independent or fielded by political parties, have been allotted election symbols.
About 40,000 candidates are vying for the seats of chairperson, vice-chairperson and general councillor and for those reserved for women. Indirect elections to reserved seats in union councils would be held after the general local elections.
There are 274 union councils in Lahore, each having six wards for directly elected general councillors.
In all, 1,149 candidates are contesting the election for the post of chairperson and vice-chairperson of union councils as joint candidates.
Seven women are vying for the post of chairperson and three for vice-chairperson.
Twelve panels of non-Muslim candidates are in the run.
Over 5,900 candidates, 33 women and 78 non-Muslim among them, are contesting the election on the seats of general councillors. Nearly 64 have already returned unopposed.
Registered voters in Lahore are 4.306m – 2.45m male and 1.85m female.
Sources said that the PML-N had fielded candidates on all seats and was leading other parties, followed by the PTI, while PPP could not find the required number of candidates.
Published in Dawn, October 18th , 2015
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