ISLAMABAD: Fourteen people including a Union Council Nazim and a woman have been killed and several wounded in firing and violence incidents during elections in different parts of the country as voting ended across the country for elections 2008 at 5:00 pm on Monday. Large number of people exercised their right of vote countrywide. Generally, voting was concluded in a peaceful manner in most of the constituencies. Counting has begun at the end of polling and official result would be announced later.
The turn out in the beginning was slow but gained momentum after lunch. A large number of people exercised their right of vote. Comprehensive security arrangements have been put in place to ensure the process of the polling peacefully. About 0.5 million security personnel have been deployed around the polling stations to ensure law and order and check any untoward situation.
Various political parties have set up their camps to facilitate the voters in finding their names in the electoral rolls. The ballots counted in the presence of the candidates or their agents. The polling process which started at 8:00 am, continued till 5:00 pm. However, those present in the premises of polling stations were allowed to cast their ballot even after 5:00 pm.
Reports emanating from across the country speak of generally peaceful and orderly conduct of the polls barring stray incidents of violence. People participated in the polling enthusiastically. The Election Commission of Pakistan will release unofficial results on receipt of the information from the Returning Officers. In all, there were 2210 candidates were in the run for 268 out of 272 general seats of the National Assembly where the elections were held.
Five thousand and thirty candidates contested elections against 569 general seats of the four provincial assemblies. For 292 seats being contested for the Punjab Assembly, 2283 candidates are in the fray. One thousand four hundred and sixty-eight candidates were pitted against each other for 130 general seats of the Sindh Assembly while 7036 candidates were vying for 96 general seats of the NWFP Assembly. And in Balochistan 541 candidates were in the field against 51 general seats of the provincial assembly.
A large number of international observers, foreign journalists and local observers and media persons watched and observed the exercise.-SANA