PESHAWAR: Polling has been underway on Thursday (today) for the by-election in Peshawar’s National Assembly constituency NA-4.
The polling will continue without break till 5:00 pm in the evening.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) estranged MNA, Gulzar Khan.
Several candidates have been in the field for the NA-4 seat but a tough contest has been expected between PTI’s Arbab Amir and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Nasir Khan Mosazai.
Besides the PML-N and PTI, the Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami National Party and Jamaat-i-Islami have also fielded their candidates.
The NA-4 constituency consists of 26 local bodies wards. Peshawar have four National Assembly and 11 provincial assembly seats. In the 2013 general election, the PTI had swept all the four NA seats and 10 of the 11 provincial assembly seats.
However, when Imran Khan vacated the NA-1 seat (Peshawar city), Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of the ANP won it in the by-election months after the installation of the PTI government in KP.
The PTI had won the NA-4 seat in 2013 by a big margin of 34,722 votes. The party’s candidate Gulzar Khan had received 55,134 votes while the runner-up, Nasir Khan Mosazai of the PML-N, got 20,412. The Jamaat’s Sabir Hussain Awan came third with 16,493 votes.
The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 397,952 – 235,127 men and 162,825 women. There are 269 polling stations, with 837 polling booths.
For the first time electronic vote machines will be used at 100 polling booths in the constituency during the election.
The election commission has declared 181 polling stations as sensitive. The contingents of Army and 5000 policemen have been deployed in the constituency for the election. Two helicopters of the army have also been deployed for aerial surveillance and security.