The Process of Voting in the 2024 Pakistan Elections | Election Updates

Pakistan’s Elections on February 8

Pakistan is gearing up for its 12th general elections on February 8 to elect the national and state legislatures. These elections come at a time of political uncertainty and economic challenges for the country.

On Thursday, 128 million Pakistanis will have the opportunity to elect their country’s next government, as well as the legislatures of the nation’s four provinces.

Despite allegations of military intervention in politics, civilian leaders have ruled directly for the past 16 years — the longest such stretch in independent Pakistan’s history. This election is a crucial step in deepening democratic roots in the country.

The Voting Process

On February 8, the voting process will begin at 8am (03:00 GMT) and continue until 5pm (12:00 GMT). Voters will be able to cast two votes — one for the National Assembly and another for the provincial assembly. The counting will start soon after voting closes, with tentative results expected to emerge within a few hours. If some polling stations witness violence or other disruptions, officials can extend voting to allow voters to cast their ballots.

National Assembly Seat Distribution

The number of seats in the National Assembly has been reduced from 272 to 266 based on the results of the 2023 national census. The northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province saw an increase in seats, while Punjab, the largest province by population, retained 141 seats. Sindh and Balochistan also retained their previous National Assembly seats. In addition, 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for minorities, which are allotted on the basis of 5 percent proportional representation in the National Assembly.

The Senate and Provincial Elections

The Senate, with 100 seats, has members picked by the provincial assemblies. The National Assembly, the Senate, and the country’s provincial assemblies combine to form the electoral college, which in turn elects Pakistan’s president. In addition to electing the National Assembly, the assemblies of the four provinces will elect representatives, who will in turn vote in a chief minister. Some seats in the provincial legislatures are also reserved for women and minorities, distributed proportionately to parties based on their representation in the legislature.

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