- CEC visits three polling stations in NA-62; EU team observes polling in NA-130 constituency
ISLAMABAD: The nation on Wednesday demonstrated great spirit by exercising the right to vote in the general election 2018 for a smooth power transition to another elected set-up, heralding a new dawn of strong and vibrant democratic system in the country.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ensured elaborate arrangements in collaboration with other state institutions to conduct the election in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful manner across the country. Enthusiastic citizens were seen lined-up outside their respective polling stations before start of the polling process to elect their representatives for national and provincial assemblies.
The queues surged gradually throughout the day as passionate voters – males, females, senior citizens and special persons – actively took part in the marathon balloting process in line with their national duty. The 10-hour polling, commenced at 8am and continued without any break till 6pm, amid tight security to elect 270 members of the National Assembly and 570 members of all the four provincial assemblies for the next five-year term (2018-23).
Over 53,000 international, national and local observers and media persons witnessed the entire election process. Chief Observer of European Union Election Observation Mission Michael Gahler visited various polling stations in the federal capital and said that his team closely monitored the electoral process.
“We will give an overall preliminary statement on Friday because we are not only monitoring the election day, but the entire process,” he told journalists during his visit to a polling station here in NA-130 constituency. Gahler said that the EU mission’s team checked ballot papers before start of the polling at 8am and found the ballot boxes properly sealed. He said that the enthusiasm of voters was remarkable.
Also, Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan visited three polling stations in NA-62 constituency of Rawalpindi to observe the polling process, and expressed satisfaction over arrangements made to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. The chief visited Divisional Public School, Dhoke Kala Khan, Shamsabad, Arid Agricultural University, Murree Road and the Govt Degree College for Women, Satellite Town.
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi cast his vote in NA-57 Murree while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan cast his vote at Dhok Jilani in Islamabad. Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq polled their votes in their respective constituencies in Charsadda and Lower Dir areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Asfandyar polled his vote at a polling station in the NA-24 constituency in Charssada. Similarly, Sirajul Haq polled his vote at a polling station in Lower Dir contesting election from the NA-7 Lower Dir-II. Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed cast his vote in Rawalpindi and thanked Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar, the judiciary, Pakistan Army and the media for playing their role in ensuring smooth polling process which he billed as historic.