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All set for 2018 General Elections in Pakistan, Polling begins at 08:00 am on Wednesday

Tuesday July 24, 2018 9:10 PM, News Network

Pakistan General Election News

[Presiding officers carry ballot boxes as they come out from the voting material distribution centre in Rawalpindi. (AFP Photo)]

Islamabad: Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday collected polling apparatus from distribution centres across the country ahead of the polling which is set to begin at 08:00 am on Wednesday July 25, 2018.

Unlike India, where polling is done using Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), people in Pakistan will use ballot papers to caste their votes.

A total of 105.95 million voters will head to polls across the country on Wednesday, with voting scheduled to begin at 08:00 am and continue till 06:00 pm on Wednesday. Some 800,000 security personnel have been deployed to provide security on the day.

A press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations said the deployment of troops across the country “in respective areas of responsibility to provide mandated assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct free, fair and transparent elections” was completed on Monday.

Ballot boxes and other voting material were among the apparatus handed over to the polling staff in the presence of police and army personnel and the same is being transported to polling stations amid strict security, according to Dawn.

With the deadline for electioneering having ended on Monday midnight, political parties have been informing and preparing voters to cast their ballots tomorrow. Party representatives in various constituencies of Lahore were seen distributing their party's slips to voters, DawnNewsTV reported.

In Karachi, voters lists have been put up at polling stations to guide the voters. The code of conduct for polling day has also been displayed.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police have arranged surveillance vehicles equipped with live video streaming cameras. The specially prepared surveillance vehicles will have four cameras each installed on them which will be able to detect a human body from a mile's distance.

Voting Method

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan which outlined the voting method for the General Election 2018, the ballot paper for the National Assembly will be green while white paper will be used for the Provincial Assemblies.

A total of 220 million ballot papers have been printed for the upcoming polls. In what ECP claims to be a first, the papers based on security features have been printed, according to Geo News.

In the first stage of the polling process, the officer will check the voter's national identity card. Following this, the voter's name will be checked in the voting list. The polling agent will then call out the voter's name and serial number. After the voter's name is crossed out on the list, their thumb impression will be taken on counter files. The voter's thumb will be marked with permanent ink.

After the assistant presiding officer signs on the back of the ballot paper for the national and provincial assemblies, the voter will be issued the paper. The voter will then move behind the voting screen to stamp on the candidates of their choice. The national assembly paper will then be inserted into the box with the green lid. A box with a white lid will be used to insert the ballot paper for the provincial assembly.

National Assembly Pakistan Current Party Position

The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also comprises the President of Pakistan and Senate of Pakistan (Upper House). The National Assembly consists of a total of 342 members who are referred to as Members of the National Assembly (MNAs). Of them 272 members are directly elected members whereas 70 seats are reserved for women and religious minorities. A political party must win 172 seats to form government.

The 14th National Assembly of Pakistan currently has a majority of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Nawaz) Sharif and its allies. While PML-N has a total of 178 members, its allies including JUI-F (13 members) and others have 21 seats. The PML-N and allies with a total tally of 199 members are currently in power in Pakistan.

There are 14 parties which form the Opposition with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) having 46 members, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) having 34 members and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) having 24 members.

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