MUZAFFARABAD: (APP) The Election Commission of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has finalized all arrangements to conduct the general elections-2016 on 41 direct seats of AJK Legislative Assembly on Thursday in a free, fair and transparent manner .
Around 427 candidates have been flexing muscles especially after the polls' schedule was announced in first week of June.
The 9-hour polling, from 8 am to 5 pm, will be conducted with the assistance of 23,394 polling staff including 4,462 presiding officers, 6,310 polling officers and 12,622 polling assistants without any break.
However, the voters present in the premises of the polling stations would be allowed to cast their votes after the closing time.
According to the final list issued by the Commission as many as 328 contestants are contesting from 29 constituencies of AJK's ten districts, while 99 are in the run from 12 constituencies of Kashmiri refugees, spread over four provinces of Pakistan.
A total of 2,674,586 people including 1,483,747 men and 1,190,839 women will be moving towards 8,048 polling booths set up in 5,429 polling stations from their respective constituencies in AJK and Pakistan.
Polling material has already been shifted to the polling stations under the supervision of the Army personnel.
Special security arrangements have been made by deploying approximately 36,000 personnel of Army, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Police in 29 constituencies of AJK, in 12 other constituencies by the Federal Government will be responsible to maintain law and order.
In AJK, Quick Response Forces (QRFs) of the Army and Police would be present within 10 miles radius of each polling station in addition to their regular patrolling aims at avoiding any untoward incident.
The Election Commission has declared 14 constituencies sensitive in AJK, where extra deployment of law enforcement agencies has been made for peaceful conduct of the polls.
Besides, it has set up a central control room to monitor the entire polling process and announce initial results pouring in across the AJK and 12 other constituencies from Pakistan.
The main contest is expected among four major political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference.
Prominent among the stalwarts participating in the contest are former prime ministers Raja Farooq Haider,Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, Barrister Sultan Mehmood,former AJKLA Speakers Chaudhry Anwarul Haq and Shah Ghulam Qadir, sitting PM Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and Sardar Khalid Ibrahim Khan.