Pakistan Election 2018: Judgement Day


Abdul Basit

Today is the election day in Pakistan and it’s also a judgement day. All eligible voters have to go to their respective polling stations and cast their votes and pass judgement for the best candidates. The selection of the right candidate will help make the right internal and external policies in Pakistan in the next five years.
Camera and mobile phones are not allowed inside the polling stations but Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) is a must to cast a vote even expired card are welcome. NADRA has successfully issued around 650,000 CNICs in five days in a bid to ensure that eligible voters are not deprived of their right to vote on July 25.
The Government of Pakistan has spent Rs200 on every voter compared to Rs53 in 2013 Election and now it’s voter’s responsibility to go and cast his or her vote. In total, the government has spent Rs4.6 billion on the Election 2018.
It’s expected that the turnout of Election 2018 will break all records of previous elections as TV channels and social media are playing an active role to push people to go for voting. This time there are 105.95 million registered voters for Election 2018, according to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
ECP statistics show that the overall voter turnout was more than 55 per cent in Election 2013. In 2013 Elections, there were total 86.9 million registered voters.
There are a total of 342 seats in the National Assembly. Of these, 272 are filled by direct elections. In addition, the Pakistani Constitution reserves 10 seats for religious minorities and 60 seats for women, to be filled by proportional representation among parties with more than 5% of the vote. There is a total of 570 provincial assemblies seats in all four provinces in Pakistan.
In Karachi, several pickup trucks, decorated with banners displaying each party’s election symbol, portraits of its leaders and wrapped in flags of Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pak Sarzameen Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, etc.
In addition to door-to-door campaigning and corner meetings, major parties took out rallies in different parts of the city in which their activists were seen dancing to the tune of party songs and shouting slogans in favour of their respective candidates and leaders throughout the day.
Around 105.95 million eligible voters – 59.22 million males and 46.73 million females – will exercise their right to vote to mark another democratic transition from one elected government to another.
About 11,673 candidates are vying for 270 national and 570 provincial seats. Elections have been postponed on two NA and six provincial seats, while one candidate has been declared winner unopposed on a provincial seat.
Elections have been postponed in NA-60 owing to disqualification of PML-N candidate Hanif Abbasi. Polls have also been postponed in NA-103 over the death of independent candidate Mirza Muhammad Ahmed Mughal.
The election on six provincial constituencies including PK-78, PP-87, PP-103, PS-87, PK-99 and PB-35 have also been postponed due to the death of candidates.
Election Commission of Pakistan has established 83,307 polling stations, 17,000 of them have been declared as sensitive. The ECP has set up 23,424 polling stations for male voters and 21,707 for female voters.
Around 40,133 combined polling stations and 43 improvised polling stations have been set up. CCTV cameras have been installed at sensitive polling stations.
The ECP has delivered election material including ballot boxes, screened off, compartments, nylon stamps, brass seals, tamper evident bag, stationery seals, marking aid rubber stamps and indelible ink vials to the polling stations.
The ballot papers have already been sent to respective polling stations. As many as 53,000 international, national and local observers and media persons will monitor the elections.
In order to hold the elections in a peaceful manner and provide a level playing field to all the stakeholders, around 7,70,000 army troops will perform duty out and inside the polling stations.
As many as 180,000 regular army and 190,000 reserves will be deployed at the polling stations. About 449,465 police force will perform elections duty.