By-election polling for NA-4 today
26 October, 2017
Polling has started for the crucial by-election for a Peshawar's National Assembly constituency of NA-4. Many observers consider the by-poll as a litmus test for the popularity of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in the province.
The seat had fallen vacant after the death of dissident PTI MNA Gulzar Khan on Aug 28.
According to DawnNews, polling was scheduled to begin at 8am, however, voting commenced at some polling stations with delay.
Voter turnout appeared to be strong, as voters started lining up outside polling stations by 7:30am.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, 14 candidates representing both major and minor political parties are in the running for the seat.
The election campaign ended at midnight on Tuesday amid hectic efforts from all parties to woo voters.
On Wednesday, political parties set up camps in the constituency to facilitate voters, while a large number of media teams reached the city to cover the election, which many take as a test of the ruling PTI’s popularity with the government completing its five-year term in few months.
Political pundits insist the PTI, Awami National Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are running neck-and-neck with each other.
In a statement issued here, the ECP said it had set up 269 polling stations across the constituency for 397,952 voters, including 235,127 men and 162,825 women, and declared 182 polling stations the most sensitive and 82 sensitive in light of security situation.
It also said electronic voting machines would be used at around 100 polling booths of around 35 polling stations on experimental basis.
The ECP said it had also appointed 269 presiding officers and put in place results transmission system at each polling station.
It said with the deployment of 7,000 policemen and 1,700 army personnel, strict security arrangements had been made in the constituency.The district administration has announced a public holiday in the constituency for the day.
Also on Wednesday, the ECP director general administration and provincial election commissioner visited polling stations in the area to check preparations for the by-election.