As many as 427 candidates of different political parties and the independent ones are in the run for the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly elections, scheduled for July 21.
According to the final list issued by the AJK Election Commission, 328 contestants will contest from 29 constituencies of AJK’s nine districts while 99 will be competing from 12 constituencies of Kashmiri refugees, spreading over four provinces of Pakistan.
The highest number of candidates in the run is from AJK’s capital Muzaffarabad where 67 candidates are in the run for the six constituencies, which have a total of 429,276 votes, including 191,112 female votes.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) Azad Kashmir President Raja Farooq Haider is contesting from LA-28, Muzaffarabad-V, where 12 other candidates are also in the run.
Muzaffarabad is followed by Poonch District where 51 candidates from four constituencies will try their luck. The total registered voters in Poonch are 310,968, which include 141,334 female voters.
Candidate wise, Mirpur District stands third where 48 contenders will be challenging each other from four constituencies which have a total of 233,518 voters, including 127,274 males and 106,244 females.
AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed will contest from LA-2, Mirpur-II; where a total of 16 candidates are in the run.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Azad Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry is in the run from LA-3, Mirpur-II, where seven candidates are contesting.
A total of 47 candidates will be competing from five constituencies of District Kotli, which also surpasses AJK’s all districts in number of voters with 442,839 people (246,230 male and 196,609 female) to exercise their right to vote.
Sardar Farooq Sikandar Khan, the son of top PMLN Azad Kashmir leader Sardar Sikander Hayat is contesting from LA-9, Kotli-II.
From the three constituencies of Bhimber District, which have a total of 243,165 votes, 45 candidates are in the run.
Sudhnoti District with 166,143 votes will see 29 candidates facing each other from its two constituencies whereas from Bagh District, which has three constituencies for its 232,572 voters, a total of 25 candidates are in the run.
All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference’s President and former AJK prime minister Sardar Attiq Ahmed Khan is vying from LA-13, Bagh-I.
Neelam and Havelli (Kahuta) District have one constituency each for their 96,584 and 80,637 voters respectively. Eight candidates are competing from both the districts.
A total of 99 contestants are running for the 12 constituencies, spreading over four provinces of Pakistan where overall 438,884 people will cast their votes.