Stage is set for holding general elections in Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday (July 21) in a free, fair, peaceful and transparent manner. A total of 26,74,586 registered voters including 12,28,930 male and 10,06,772 female in all 29 constituencies in all ten districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and a total of 4,38884 registered voters including 2,54,817 male and 1,84,067 female in all 12 constituencies meant for Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees, would exercise their right of vote.
AJK Election Commission sources told APP here on Wednesday that polling will start at 8.00 in the morning and will continue till 5.00 p.m without any pause.The computerised registered voter shall have to produce his or her original computerised national identity card at the polling station at the time of exercising the right of vote.
A total of 423 candidates including those belonging to various political parties as well as independent candidates are in the running to win the election to 41 seats to be filled in the direct adult franchise basis.
The elections are being held under the supervision of Pakistan Army and Rangers with the coordination of the local civil law enforcement institutions including AJK police as well as Punjab, KPK police and Frontier Constabulary to ensure the holding of the polls in absolutely, free, fair, peaceful and transparent manner.
The constitutional term of incumbent AJK Legislative Assembly is being expired on 24th July 2016. Under Interim Act 1974, the interim constitution of AJK , it is mandatory to hold elections 60 days before the last date.
The polling will be held on direct adult franchise basis on Wednesday to 41 seats of the 49-member AJK Legislative Assembly including 29 meant for all 10 districts of AJK and 12 including six each meant for Pakistan-based refugees from Kashmir valley and Jammu & others.
Rest of eight reserved seats including five meant for women and one each for technocrats, ulema / Mashaikh and overseas Kashmiris will be filled in later on by the electoral college comprising above 41 members of the house to be elected on direct adult franchise basis.
According to the final list released by the AJK Election Commission, a total of 26,74,586 eligible registered voters would move to the total number of 5,429 polling stations comprising 8,008 booths in all 41 constituencies including 29 in AJK and 12 of Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir to exercise their right of vote.
The number of polling station in 29 AJK electoral constituencies is 4,462 comprising a total of 6,270 polling booths.The Polling staff has yet moved for their respective destinations the places of duties at the polling stations set up
across AJK and in the constituencies of refugees swelling in all four provinces of Pakistan, the AJK Election Commission sources told APP here Wednesday.
Over 30 thousand Pakistan Army troops have reached in all 41 electoral constituencies of AJK legislative assembly to assist the civil administration for maintaining complete peaceful environment to ensure existence of complete law and order during holding of the polls in absolutely free, fair and impartial atmosphere.
The AJK Election Commission has set up control room to receive the elections results from all the concerned District Returning Officers soon after the polling.
Meanwhile, official sources told APP here Wednesday that the civil administration including police has made adequate arrangements to maintain peace and security in all ten districts of AJK have for making fool-proof arrangements to maintain law and order situation during the elections in AJK. Besides the Pak Army and Rangers, Punjab, KPK Police and FC has also been called in to assist the local police and administration for maintaining complete peace and order during polling.