PESHAWAR: A total of 285 candidates, including two women, are in the running for 16 general seats in the first-ever provincial assembly elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal districts, previously known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as the election campaign by political parties and candidates will end at midnight today (July 18).

A total of 2.80 million voters, including 1.67 million men and 1.13 million women, will exercise their franchise on July 20.

Of the 1,896 polling stations, 482 are for men, 376 for women, and 1,038 combined.

Poll campaign to end tonight; two women among 285 candidates

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, Section 182 of the Elections Act, 2017, declares that no person will convene, hold or attend any public meeting and no person will promote or join in any procession within a constituency during a period of 48 hours ending at midnight following conclusion of the poll for an election in that constituency.

The violators of that provision is liable to be punished with imprisonment of up to two years or with fine of up to Rs100,000.

The ECP asked political parties and candidates to follow the law.

Spokesman for ECP here Sohail Khan told Dawn that after the retirement of 15 candidates in different constituencies from elections, 285 people are in the running.

Among them are two women candidates, including Nazheed Afridi of Awami National Party and Malasa of Jamaat-i-Islami, who are contesting elections in PK-106 Khyber-I and PK-109 Kurram-II constituencies respectively.

According to the ECP data, the highest number of candidates i.e. 31 is in the PK-108 Kurram-I constituency followed by 24 in PK-110 Orakzai, 22 in PK-109 Kurram-II, and 20 in PK-105 Khyber–I and PK-114 South Waziristan-II each.

In PK-106 Khyber-II, PK- 112 North Waziristan-II and PK-113 South Waziristan-I, 19 candidates each have been in the contest, followed by 18 candidates each on PK-104 Mohmand-II and PK- 111 North Waziristan-II.

Similarly, 15 candidates are in the running in PK-101 Bajaur-II, while 14 candidates are facing each other in PK-103 Mohmand-I and PK- 107 Khyber-III constituencies.

Twelve candidates are contesting elections in PK-103 Bajaur-III, 10 in PK-100 Bajaur-I and PK-115 ex-Frontier Regions each.

Of the 16 general seats, Bajaur and Khyber tribal districts have three provincial assembly constituencies each and Mohmand, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal districts two each, while six former Frontier Regions of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank jointly have a single seat of KP Assembly.

Apart from general seats, five seats reserved for women and non-Muslims will be filled through proportional representation of seats won by a political party.

Eight candidates are in the running for four seats reserved for women and three for a single seat reserved for non-Muslims.

The ECP will set up 5,653 polling booths for the polls, including 3,437 for men and 2,216 for women.

The highest number of 543 polling booths will be established in PK-110 Orakzai, followed by 466 in PK-107 Khyber-III, 441 in PK-115 ex-FR Regions and 418 in PK-113 SW-I.

Similarly, the largest number of 175 polling stations will be set up in PK-110 Orakzai followed by 163 in PK-115 ex-FR regions, 146 in PK-107 Khyber-III, 140 in PK-113 SW-I and 135 in PK-108 Kurram-I.

The largest number of voters registered in a constituency is 218,835 in PK-113 SW-I, including 122,197 men and 96,638 women.

Similarly, 216,719 voters, including 125,358 men and 91,361 women, will exercise their franchise in PK-102 Bajaur-III.

The registered voters in other constituencies include 216,131 in PK-107 Khyber-III, including 123,683 men and 92,450 women; 196,436 in PK-110 Orakzai, including 110,741 men and 85,695 women; 191,062 in PK-115 ex-FR Region, including 116,444 men and 74,618 women; 187,844 in PK-109 Kurram-II, including 105,284 men and 82,560 women; 179,124 in PK-112 NW-II, including 117,811 men and 61,313 women; 172,897 in PK-108 Kurram-I, including 99,534 men and 73,363 women; 170,022 in PK-104 Mohmand-II, including 106,749 men and 63,273 women; 167,994 in PK-114 SW-II, including 115,572 men and 52,422 women; 167,484 in PK-105 Khyber-I, including 94,514 men and 72,970 women; 161,047 in PK-101 Bajaur-II, including 94,349 men and 66,698 women; 156,237 in PK-100 Bajaur-I, including 94,937 men and 61,300 women; 148,470 in PK-106 Khyber-II, including 82,818 men and 65,652 women; 141,053 in PK-111 NW-I, including 92,845 men and 48,208 women, and 110,480 in PK-103 Mohmand-I, including 68,472 men and 42,008 women.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2019