PESHAWAR - As many as 2.801 million registered voters would exercise their right of vote in the first-ever elections to be held for 16 general seats of KP Assembly in the newly merged tribal areas on Saturday (July 20). The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has made all arrangements for smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in the erstwhile Fata, namely Khyber, Bajaur, Mohmand, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Frontier Regions.  Army personnel would be deployed inside and outside the most sensitive polling stations. According to ECP, the total number of male voters is 1671308 and female 1130529. Total 285 candidates, including independents, are in the run, including two women, from different political parties.

Eight females have been nominated for four reserved seats while three candidates are contesting for a lone non-Muslim seat.

ECP has set up 1,896 polling stations, including 482 for males, 376 for females and 1038 combined to facilitate the voters. The provincial government has decided to ensure installation of CCTV cameras at all polling stations, particularly at most sensitive ones. The ECP has arranged a series of workshops and seminars to motivate female voters to turn up at polling stations on the Election Day. Women security personnel would be deployed at all female as well as combined polling stations. The ECP has announced that fresh elections would be held in the constituencies where female voters’ turnout would be less than 10 percent.  The distribution of ballot papers has begun under the supervision of army personnel. Over 2.8m ballot papers have been printed for the purpose.