QUETTA: With two days to go for the 2018 general election, at least 22 Balochistan candidates have announced withdrawal of their candidatures for the national and provincial assemblies’ seats, the provincial election commissioner says.
“[Five] political and independent candidates for the National Assembly [seats] have withdrawn their candidatures [days] before the general elections, while 17 candidates for the provincial assembly seats have also pulled back following electoral alliance and seat adjustments,” said Niyaz Ahmed Baloch on Sunday.
He said, “After the withdrawals, a total of 287 candidates remain in the fray for 16 National Assembly seats in Balochistan and 952 candidates will contest for 51 seats of the provincial assembly.”
On security arrangements for elections, Niyaz said, “Security measures have been finalised across Balochistan as the Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps, police, Levies force and Balochistan Constabulary personnel have been deployed to protect the masses on the polling day.”
The election commissioner said, “Election material, including ballot papers, has been dispatched to all returning officers across Balochistan.”
It is to be noted that just days after the caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Alauddin Marri claimed that security arrangements for general election in the province were complete, a suicide bomber struck a corner meeting of the Balochistan Awami Party in Mastung, martyring 150 innocent people, including Siraj Raisani, younger brother of former CM Aslam Rasiani.