Voting for Pakistan’s general elections concludes, counting starts


Voting for Pakistan's general elections concludes, counting starts

Islamabad: The voting process in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections concluded Thursday evening and the counting of ballots has started, said a statement from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The ECP said that the polling started at 8:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) Thursday and continued uninterrupted until 5:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT).

Almost all major parties requested the ECP to extend the polling time but were rejected by the election body, which said that people who managed to enter the premises of the polling stations before the door closing time were allowed to cast their votes.

A mixed trend of voter turnout was observed across the country, as people thronged to vote for the National Assembly as well as four provincial assembly seats.

Counting has started at polling stations where the voting process had been completed. The ECP banned all organizations, including media houses, from announcing unofficial results of any polling station within one hour after the conclusion of the voting process.

Elections took place on 265 seats of the National Assembly, or the lower house of the country’s parliament, after polls were postponed on one seat due to the death of a candidate.

According to the ECP, over 128 million Pakistani people, or more than half of the country’s total population, are eligible to vote in the general elections.

Earlier, ECP announced that over 5,000 candidates would contest the 265 general seats in the National Assembly and over 12,000 candidates would be competing for the 590 general seats of the provincial assemblies in the four provinces, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.

Pakistan’s lower house has a total of 336 members, of which 266 are directly elected by the people, whereas 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. The reserved seats will be allocated to the political parties according to their proportional winning of the direct seats of the house.

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