The 2013 elections are around the corner, and this is the time when all the political parties start their struggles to gain popular support. It is the first time that a civilian government has completed a full term and handed over power through the ballot box in Pakistan’s 66-year history.
Who Will Win Pakistan: Will lion of Punjab Nawaz Sharif become prime minister for the third time or will captain Imran Khan ride a tsunami of youth power?
Here are some key facts about the election:
There are 4,670 candidates standing for 272 seats in a first-past-the-post system in the 342-member Lower House. Sixty seats reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslim minorities are distributed by proportional representation based on the parties’ share of the directly elected seats.
A total of 10,955 candidates are running in elections for Pakistan’s four provincial assemblies in Punjab, Sindh in the south, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the northwest and Balochistan in the southwest.
Only 161 women are standing in the general elections for the National Assembly, 3.5 percent of the candidates.
There are 86.2 million registered voters—37.6 million women and 48.6 million men.
The Election Commission has set up around 70,000 polling stations, 40 percent of them for women, to be staffed by more than 600,000 people. Voters must present their ID cards and their fingers are inked after voting to prevent vote tampering.
Hours of Voting
Polls will open at 8:00 a.m. on May 11 and are scheduled to close at 5:00 p.m.
Elections have been postponed in three constituencies—two for provincial assembly seats and one for a National Assembly seat—after candidates were assassinated during the campaign.
More than 600,000 security personnel, including 50,000 soldiers, will be deployed during the election to guard against Taliban attacks that have killed over 100 people during the campaign thus far.
Of the more than 72,000 polling stations to be set up across the country for the general elections, over 21,000 have been declared sensitive. A total of 8,250 sensitive stations are in Sindh alone.
Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous federally administered tribal areas elect 12 members to the National Assembly. This year is the first time that political parties have been able to contest the eection in the area, a Taliban and Al Qaeda hotbed on the Afghan border.
Ballots will be counted by hand at individual polling stations. They will be forwarded to provincial election commission offices and then tallied in Islamabad. First results are expected from 10:00 p.m. and the election commission will certify final results within a week. A majority of 172 out of 272 directly elected seats is required to form a government.
Tens of thousands of local and international observers, along with representatives of the candidates and media, are to monitor polling. The main Pakistan observer organization is the Free and Fair Election Network, which aims to field 43,500 observers across the country.
The Election Commission has announced that election campaign will come to an end 48 hours before the polling day
Election Commission warned that candidates violating deadline will face disqualification‚ fine up toRs. 100‚000 or withholding of their results
Through ECP E-Ticket service voters can inquire about their constituency and details of polling stations by sending an SMS on 8300.
NADRA Launches Online Voting System for Overseas PakistanisThe Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took an unexpected U-turn when it opposed an online voting system for overseas Pakistanis, terming it expensive, time-consuming, and impracticable.