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Pakistan Election 2018: A look at the seats up for grabs

More than 12,000 candidates are vying for 272 seats in parliament and 577 seats in four provincial assemblies as Pakistan goes to elections.

world Updated: Jul 25, 2018 08:38 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Islamabad
Pakistan Election 2018,Bilawal Bhutton Zardari,Imran Khan
A man goes through a list of materials for distribution among electoral workers, ahead of general election in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday. (Reuters photo)

Pakistan goes to polls on Wednesday to elect a third straight civilian government, with more than 12,000 candidates vying for 272 seats in parliament and 577 seats in four provincial assemblies. (live updates)

Under Pakistani law, separate seats are reserved for women and non-Muslim minorities, which comprise about 4% of the country’s more than 200 million residents.

The election comes amid controversy surrounding former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who recently returned to the country from England to face corruption charges even as he has sought to return his party, the Pakistan Muslim League, to power. Meanwhile, popular former cricket player Imran Khan hopes to become the next premier.

Here is a look at contested seats in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies and the number of candidates running:

National Assembly

The National Assembly in the capital Islamabad is comprised of 342 seats, of which 272 open seats are being contested. The remaining 70 seats are reserved for women and non-Muslims, with 60 for women and 10 for non-Muslims.

Punjab is the largest province and key to the formation of a new government with 141 assembly seats being sought by 1,623 candidates. For the 35 seats reserved for women from Punjab, 73 candidates are listed.

The party obtaining the majority of seats in Punjab will likely form the next government. The three major parties — Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf, the former ruling Pakistan Muslim League and Bilawal Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party — are focusing on Punjab. Khan, Zardari and PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif are campaigning for multiple seats. (Pakistani law allows candidates to run for multiple seats).

In southern Sindh province, there are 61 National Assembly seats being contested by 824 candidates and 48 candidates are vying for the 14 seats designated for women.

For northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where there are 39 National Assembly seats, there are 725 candidates in the field. There are eight reserved seats for women with 35 candidates listed.

In southwestern Baluchistan province, 16 seats are up for grabs with 287 candidates running for them, and three seats for women with 16 candidates.

The capital city Islamabad has three assembly seats and this year 73 candidates are in the running.

There are 12 assembly seats being contested in the tribal belt along the Afghan border and 289 candidates are competing for those seats.

Provincial assemblies

Punjab Assembly: It has 371 seats, of which 297 are being contested by 4,036 candidates. Vying for the 66 seats for women are 174 candidates and for the eight seats for non-Muslims, 32 candidates are lined up.

Sindh Assembly: For the 168-seat body, 130 seats are being contested by 2,252 candidates. For the 29 seats for women, 91 candidates are listed and for nine reserved seats for non-Muslim minorities, 39 candidates are listed.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly: In the 124-seat assembly, 99 seats are being contested by 1,154 candidates. The election of one seat has been postponed due to the death of a candidate in a suicide attack in the provincial capital Peshawar. For 22 women’s seats, 79 candidates are lined up and for three minority seats, 20 candidates are in the wings.

Baluchistan Assembly: There are 939 candidates in the running for 51 general seats. The contest for one seat has been postponed due to the death of a candidate and 148 supporters in the district of Mastung in a suicide bombing. The attacker blew himself up as provincial candidate Siraj Raisani held a rally in the Drin Garh area of Mastung.

For the 11 seats reserved for women, 42 candidates are in line. For three reserved seats for non-Muslims there are 22 candidates.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 20:03 IST