Polling For Azad Kashmir Elections Begins

Polling for 41 constituencies of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly started at 8:00am on Thursday. The polling will continue till 5:00pm without any break, Media News reported.

Kashmir elections begins
Polling for Azad Kashmir elections begins

At least 423 candidates are in the run for 41 constituencies of the AJK Legislative Assembly. Strong competition is expected between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in today’s election. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is contesting election on all 41 seats while PML-N has fielded 38 candidate and PTI is contesting election from 32 constituencies. AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed is contesting from constituency LA-2, Mirpur-II. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) Azad Kashmir President Raja Farooq Haider is contesting from LA-28 while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Azad Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry is in the run from LA-3, Mirpur-II constituency. 

A total number of 26,74,586 registered voters would exercise their voting right in today’s elections out of which 11,90,839 are female while 14,83,747 are male voters. A total number of 5,427 polling stations have been set up for today’s election. Foolproof security arrangements have been made to ensure transparency, fairness and impartiality of elections. Local police and army jawans will work collectively to allow voters to cast their vote freely. At least 17,000 army personnel, 4,000 Frontier Constabulary soldiers, 4,000 policemen from Punjab, 2,000 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some 5,200 have been deployed to maintain law and order situation during the election. On the other hand, at least three people sustained severe wounds in Bagh due to clash between locals and staff members. Residents have also witnessed brawls in Noor Gala and Baloch constituencies whereas PPP supporters have also established their own polling station in Mirpur. 

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Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Azad Jammu and Kashmir Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal said the polling time would not be extended. However, he said the voters present in the premises of polling stations at the closing time would be allowed to cast their vote. As per the announced schedule, the polling that started at 8 am will continue till 5 pm without any break. He was talking to media during his visit to different polling stations of district Muzaffarabad. He expressed satisfaction over the smooth and timely start of the election process. The CEC said adequate measures were in place to ensure transparency in the election process and ruled out any possibility of bogus votes, saying “there is no question of bogus voting.” The commissioner is also scheduled to visit the divisional headquarters of Mirpur and Poonch (Rawalakot) to review the election process.