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QUETTA: Arrangements have been finalised for holding a by-election on the National Assembly constituency NA-260 (Quetta-cum-Chagai) on Saturday.

Provincial Election Commissioner Mohammad Naeem Majeed Jaffar on Friday said that all efforts would be made for a peaceful election.

The seat fell vacant after the death of Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, the senior vice chairman of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

The Election Commis­sion has sought the help of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps, Quick Response Force and police in and outside every polling station to ensure fair and transparent election.

“The personnel of Fron­tier Corps will be deployed in and outside every polling station,” Mr Jaffar said.

The election commission has set up a total of 407 polling stations. Of these, 320 have been declared highly sensitive, 50 sensitive and 37 normal.

Of the 407 polling stations, 167 are meant for male and 131 for female voters and 108 others for both women and men.

The total number of voters in the constituency is 460,202. Of these, 274,367 are male and 185,835 are female voters.

“We have taken all possible steps to ensure free, fair and transparent by-election on NA-260,” Mr Jaffar said.

In all 17 candidates are contesting the poll and of them nine are independent candidates. Candidates of several political parties are taking part in the election.

Prominent among them are Sardarzada Umair Muhammad Hasni of PPP, Dr Usman Badani of JUI-F, Bahadur Khan Mengal of BNP-Mengal, Jamal Khan Tarakai of PkMAP, Dr Munir Ahmed of PTI and Qari Meharullah of JUI-Nazaryati.

Two candidates, Dr Asif Baloch of BNP-Awami and Ahmed Ali Kohzad of Hazara Democratic Party, withdrew their candidature in favour of BNP-Mengal candidate Bahadur Khan Mengal.

In the last seven elections held in the constituency, the PPP has won the seat five times while the JUI-F clinched it twice.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2017