Over 17,000 candidates eyeing national, provincial assemblies seats

ISLAMABAD: After allotting electoral symbols to candidates, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued Form-33, list of contesting candidates, revealing that a total 17,816 candidates will contest the general elections for the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies seats up for grabs.

Senior ECP official as saying that a large number of candidates withdrew from elections because of various reasons as per the law.

11,785 candidates out of 17,816 are independent, while 6,031 are affiliated with political parties. On the National Assembly seats, 4,807 males, 312 females and two transgenders are contesting. Moreover, total 12,123 males, 570 females and two transgender candidates will vie for provincial assembly seats.

As per the data shared by the top electoral body, the number of male candidates with party affiliation for the National Assembly is 1,780, while there are 93 females with party tickets, bringing their total to 1,873.

However, the number of candidates contesting independently for the lower house of parliament is almost double, with 3,027 males, 219 females and two transgenders, totaling 3,248. There are 3,976 male candidates with party affiliation in the electoral arena for the general seats of the four provincial assemblies and the number of females stands at 182, bringing the total to 4,158.

Contrary to this, the number of those contesting independently with no party affiliation is 8,537, including 8,147 male candidates, 388 female candidates, and two transgender candidates across the provincial assemblies.

According to Form-33, in Punjab, there are a total of 6,710 contesting candidates, including males and females, both with party affiliations and independents vying for the provincial assembly’s general seats. Likewise, the total number of male and female candidates in Sindh is 2,878, including those with party affiliations and independents.

Among the four provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only one where two transgenders are also contesting for general seats, while other candidates are 1,763 males and 63 females, for a total of 1,834.

Similarly, in Balochistan, there are a total of 1,273 male candidates with party affiliations and independents, including 1,233 males and 40 females.

According to statistics regarding appeals, a total of 2,373 appeals were filed with the appellate tribunals against the acceptance and rejection of nomination papers; 178 were against the acceptance of nomination papers, and 2,195 were against rejection. The tribunals accepted 1,611 appeals and rejected 762 of the total appeals. Separately, the election commission has stated that a fake WhatsApp account of the chief election commissioner with his photograph has been found and the public is urged to stay away from fake messages and propaganda from that account.