LB-Elections Electioneering in federal capital for first ever LB elections reaches its climax

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 27 (APP): Ornamented with banners and posters of candidates contesting for elections together with their camps at every prominent place, political activities in the federal capital are at peak as the cut off time for electioneering is nearing.
Islamabad, otherwise known for its calmness and a routine life, which many term a boring one, is altogether turned political with small rallies and corner meetings all around as the first ever local body elections are going to be held here on November 30.
The candidates of different political parties and those contesting as
independent are busy in the same rhetoric as they are used to of; that is, to make unprecedented promises with the people.
According to data available with Election Commission of Pakistan, a
total of 2,407 candidates are contesting the elections for 650 seats of 50 union councils of the capital. Independent candidates are once again taking the lead with 972, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which has fielded 506 candidates. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has fielded 479 candidates, Jamat-e-Islami 164, Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Pakistan 66, Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) 13 and Aam Admi Party 8 candidates.
As many as 255 candidates are contesting for chairman and vice-
chairman, 1210 for general councilors, 230 for youth seats, 351 for women
seats, 248 for Kissan and Workers, and 102 are bracing for seats meant for
non-Muslims.
The significant thing to be mentioned here is that Pakistan Peoples
Party (PPP) once considered a symbol of federation has now fielded only 81
candidates for the elections.
Although all the candidates, whether they are of a particular
political party or contesting as independent, are confident of their victory but the real match would be between the ruling party PML-N and opposition party PTI.
In general elections 2013, a mixed trend was seen in the federal
capital where one of the two seats was won by PML-N (NA-49) while the other was clinched by PTI (NA-48).
According to some political analysts, same results can be expected in
local body elections with the exception of the emergence of some independent
candidates as witnessed in Punjab and Sindh, but some others believe that the ruling PML-N will do better in comparison to 2013 due to some of the
development projects in the capital, particularly after the launching of Metro Bus Service and also due to some controversies that surrounded PTI in recent times.
According to the polling scheme issued by the Election Commission of
Pakistan for the elections, more than 6,74,000 people will use their right to vote in which 3,66,000 are male while 3,09,000 are female.
A total of 640 polling stations will be established, of which, 261
will be for males and 256 for females. However, 123 polling stations will be shared by both men and women. The results of the elections will be declared on December 3.
The authority has decided to hold elections from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
without any interruption keeping in view voters convenience so that
maximum locals could cast their votes.
Meanwhile, the ECP has also decided to use Android application
during the elections through which results from 200 polling stations will be
transmitted directly to its secretariat via smartphones.
During the process, Presiding officers will photograph result forms
using their smartphones and transmit it electronically to the central computer server instantly on real-time basis.
“The technology is being used to make the system more transparent
and auditable besides building up trust and confidence of people on the
election commission,” the ECP spokesman said.
Furthermore, for the first time, the poll body would also be
introducing online mapping of polling stations.
Through this system, voters, polling agents, media and observers can
locate and identify any polling station using the ECP website
(www.ecp.gov.pk), the spokesman said, adding, searchers will have to write
down name of a union council and ward to gain access to location
information of the polling station and a local constituency.
“We hope that this pilot project will help to facilitate voters’
access and increase transparency in the polling process,” he added.