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PML-N has taken lead in the cantonment board elections

26 April, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has taken the lead in the cantonment board elections across the country, bagging 67 seats, followed by independent candidates with 55 seats and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf with 42 seats.

Polling for election in as many as 42 cantonment boards in the country concluded in the evening and votes were subsequently counted to declare PML-N victorious.

According to the results, the MQM bagged 19 seats to stand third, the PPP got seven, JI got six and ANP secured two seats. The boards were divided into 199 wards and as many as 1,151 candidates emerged for the elections on a party basis, which were held after a gap of 17 years.

The Karachi Cantonment Board had the most wards (32) whereas Lahore Cantt had 20. Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Wah Cantt, Sargodha and Hyderabad had 10 wards each, while Sialkot, Peshawar, Okara, Quetta and Abbottabad Cantts had five wards each.

The cantonments in Nowshera had four wards, Kohat, Rasalpur and Bahawalpur had three wards each, while the remaining two cantonments had two wards each.

At least fourteen candidates had been elected unopposed thus far out of which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had two each, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) one, and nine independent candidates.

At least 541 candidates belonging to as many as 18 parties contested the cantonment board elections. The PTI had the most candidates (135), PML-N had 128 while the PPP had 89 candidates.

The MQM and PAT had 27 candidates each. The remaining 610 candidates were independent. For this purpose, at least 12,400 army personnel had been deployed to ensure security at the polling stations.

In Lahore, despite the heat in the city throughout the polling hours, camps were set up by political parties, especially the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which witnessed a flurry of activity as polling concluded.

Both the parties set up camps next to each other in major areas of both the cantonments. No untoward incident was, as such reported, despite the casual sloganeering, as convoys of voters passed by camps of opposing parties.

Independent candidates in many of the wards had alleged that the PML-N and PTI provided transportation to voters. Political parties, however, denied the allegation. More than 5,000 police officials were deployed for the security of the elections in Walton and Lahore Cantonment Boards.

In Rawalpindi, the voter turnout remained low as not many voters – probably due to high temperature – failed to show up. Businesses remained shut, as the government had announced a public holiday in cantonment areas.

In Hyderabad, voter turnout during the first four hours remained dismal, registering a 12% to 18% at almost all the polling stations. Amid a low voter turnout, the polling process started at 9am in all the 28 polling stations set up for the local government elections in the eight wards of the cantonment board of Hyderabad.

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