ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has released Form-33, a list of candidates, following the distribution of electoral symbols to candidates. It reveals that 17,816 candidates are running in the general elections to fill seats in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies.
According to a top ECP official quoted in The News, many candidates withdrew from the poll for a variety of legal grounds.
Of the 17,816 candidates, 11,785 are independent, and 6,031 are connected to political parties. There are 4,807 males, 312 females, and 2 transgender candidates running for seats in the National Assembly. In addition, 12,123 men, 570 women, and two transgender candidates will run for seats in the provincial parliament.
According to information released by the highest electoral authority, there are 1,780 male candidates running for the National Assembly who are affiliated with a party, and 93 female candidates who are registered with a party, for a total of 1,873.
Nonetheless, there are nearly twice as many candidates running separately for the lower house of parliament—3,027 men, 219 women, and two transgender people, for a total of 3,248. For the general seats of the four provincial assembly, there are 3,976 male candidates with party affiliation and 182 female candidates, for a total of 4,158 candidates.
On the other hand, 8,537 candidates are running on their own without joining a party, comprising 8,147 men, 388 women, and two transgender candidates nationwide.
Form-33 indicates that 6,710 candidates, both male and female, affiliated with different parties and independents, are running for the general seats in the provincial legislature in Punjab. Similarly, there are 2,878, both male and female, candidates in Sindh, including independents and those affiliated with political parties.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province out of the four where two transgender candidates are running for general elections. The remaining 1,834 candidates are divided between 1,763 males and 63 females.
Similarly, 1,273 male candidates—1,233 men and 40 females—with party connections and independent status are present in Balochistan.A total of 2,373 appeals were filed with the appellate tribunals against the acceptance and rejection of nomination papers, with 178 being submitted against the acceptance and 2,195 against the rejection, according to statistics on appeals. Of the total number of appeals, the tribunals granted 1,611 and denied 762 cases. In a related development, the electoral commission announced that it had discovered a phony WhatsApp account belonging to the chief election commissioner, complete with his picture. The public is being advised to avoid clicking on any bogus links or messages from that account.