Pakistan Election 2018: Voting begins across country amid tight security
LAHORE, (DNA) – Pakistan is set to decide its fate for the next five years as citizens of the country are thronging polling stations to vote for third consecutive General Election today.
The polling has begun countrywide at scheduled time at 8:00am and will continue without break till 6:00 pm.
All Pakistani citizens, above 18 years age, are casting their votes to elect their representatives for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has registered 105 million voters countrywide including 59,224,262 males and 46,731,145 females for the elections. Voters turnout will be crucial in the polling, as unlike in the past, turnout has been quite low in the past polls with highest 64 per cent last recorded in the 1970 elections.
9:35am: Suspicious man barred from entering Lyari polling booth
A suspicious-looking man made an attempt to enter the polling station in Bihar Colony of Lyari. He pretended to be a police officer when security personnel barred him from going inside the station. The polling process was halted for 20 minutes afterwards.
9:30am: Bakhtawar, Aseefa cast votes
Bakhtawar and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the daughters of former president Asif Ali Zardari, just cast their ballots in Nawabshah. The former head of state is contesting from a National Assembly constituency in Benazirabad (Nawabshah).
9:20am: Polling picks up
Though voting for 11th general elections started slowly but it now seems to be picking up as long queues of voters are seen at many polling stations across the country, according to ARY News correspondents.
Many people waiting outside polling booths grumbled about election staff commencing the voting process late by up to 30 minutes.
9:10am: PTI’s Yasmeen Rashid casts vote
Yasmeen Rashid, a prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, cast her vote in Lahore. She seemed confident about her party’s victory in the general elections. “Public should come out to cast vote for their favorite leader,” she urged.
Yasmeen is vying for the seat of Lahore’s NA-125.
9:00am: Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khursheed Shah cast vote
Former National Assembly speaker and PML-N leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq cast his ballot in Garhi Shahu, Lahore. Whereas, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Syed Khursheed Shah exercised his right to vote in NA-207, Sukkur.
8:55am: Shehbaz Sharif casts his ballot
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif has just cast his vote in the constituency of NA-130, Lahore.
He reached the polling booth along with his family members. The former Punjab chief minister is contesting the election from NA-3, Swat-II, NA-132, Lahore 10, NA-249, Karachi West 2, NA-192, DG Khan 4, PP-164, Lahore, and PP-165, Lahore 22.
8:45am: ECP receives complaints about vote transfer
As the polling is on across the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has so far received six complaints about registration or transfer of votes to far-off places or voters going missing from lists.
8:35am: Power cuts hit several polling stations
Despite promises of uninterrupted power supply on the polling day, one of the polling booths in NA-236 (Malir-I) is experiencing load shedding. Polling staff was seen complaining that they are forced to go about their work without electricity. Owing to power outage, CCTV cameras installed at the station have also become non-functional.
8:30am: PTI leader Asad Umar casts his vote
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar cast his vote at a polling station in NA-54, Islamabad, a National Assembly seat he is vying for. He told reporters that his party is going to form the next government at the Centre.
He expressed the optimism that after today’s election, Pakistan will head in the right direction.
8:20am: Polling couldn’t begin in parts of country
There are reports that voting has yet not begun at several polling stations in different parts of the country as election staff is said to be absent at some polling booths despite passage of more than 20 minutes.
8:10am: First vote cast in Karachi’s NA-236
As the polling for the 2018 general elections opened, the first vote was cast at a polling station in NA-236, Karachi. A large number of voters have lined up outside the polling booth waiting for their turn to exercise their right to franchise.
8:00am: Polling time begins
The polling has begun across different polling stations countrywide, however majority of the polling stations haven’t yet witnessed a large turnout. People may leave homes to exercise their right to ballot as the time passes.
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