Candidates intending to contest elections from NA-40 in North Waziristan thronged to the political administration’s office in Miranshah to submit their nomination papers on Saturday.
A curfew was earlier imposed in the restive agency following a suicide attack on Esha check post on March 23 which left 17 security personnel dead and 40 others wounded. However, the administration on Thursday announced the restrictions would be relaxed for 10 hours – from 7am till 5pm.
Talking to journalists, Returning Officer Tahirud Din Babar said a total of 38 candidates have submitted their papers while several others would submit them in the next few days.
Babar informed that the eight tehsils of the agency have about 160,121 registered voters including 149,218 male and 11,703 female voters.
“We haven’t decided about the setting of separate polling stations yet,” he said, adding they would announce the details later.
Assistant returning officer Muhammad Muzamil, who is also the agency’s education officer said 35,229 votes were cast in the 2008 general polls – making the turnout 28%.
Muzamil said education is not compulsory for candidates wishing to contest from the agency, however, they should have some knowledge and experience in politics.
All candidates whose electricity and telephone bills exceed Rs10,000 are required to first pay the dues and then contest.
Former MNA Malik Kamran, who had earlier won the election receiving 5,866 votes, will contest again. Kamran said he has worked hard to develop his constituency, adding this time he would work for the betterment of education and health system if he is elected again.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2013.