Islamabad: After lot of dilly dallying by the bureaucracy to thwart attempts by politicians for sharing of powers in running the affairs of Federal Capital, Polling for the first ever local body elections in Islamabad will be held tomorrow (Monday).The powers currently enjoyed by the bureaucracy in the capital territory will devolve to the two tier local government system.

The polling will begin at 7:00 am and continue till 5:30 pm without any interruption, which will be the longest duration to enable the maximum number of people to exercise their right to franchise.

The real contest is between PML-N and PTI backed candidates but PPP and JI are also in the run in addition to a large number of small political parties and independents. 

Polling material was distributed among the polling staff on Sunday where there were complaints by the female staffers that they had reached at 8 a but got the material after lot of delay.

According to a spokesman of Election Commission of Pakistan, 2,396 candidates will contest for 550 seats in the federal capital of the country.

Atleast 255 candidates will be contesting for the chairmen while 1,210 candidates will be battling for the general seat. Besides this 351 female candidates will compete for the women seats while 248 candidates will be aiming for the labour seat. On the other hand, 230 candidates will be aiming for the seats reserved for youths while 102 candidates are in fray for the minority’s seats.

Atleast 6, 80,612 registered voters among which 3, 67,960 are men and 3, 12,652 are women will exercise their voting rights during the municipal elections. The spokesperson said green ballot paper would be used for the seat of chairman and vice chairman while white for general seats.

Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure security and maintenance of law and order during local government elections in Islamabad capital territory.

Six hundred twenty five Army troops and seven hundred personnel of Rangers besides police would be deployed in the capital for the purpose. One thousand personnel of FC would also help maintain law and order in Islamabad during polling. Metal detectors would be used for checking purpose and women police employees would be deployed at female polling stations. According to reports, three polling stations for the Local Body (LB) polls in Islamabad have been declared as ‘extremely sensitive’ by the law enforcement agencies warning that there is a security threat to these stations where any serious attack can occur.

 A single polling station at Federal Government Boys Higher Secondary School number 1 in Aabpara, while 2 stations at Government Model College for Boys in Tarnol have been declared as sensitive. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Chaudhry Wajid Ayub and independent candidate Malik Rizwan will be contesting for the Chairman position at Tarnol’s polling station while PML-N’s candidate Jawad Bin Noor and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Anjum Shehzad Tanoli will be contesting for the Chairman position at the Aabpara polling station.

Voters of both areas have demanded that stringent security arrangements should be made so that people may exercise their voting rights without any fear.