Sunday saw the beginning of local government elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after 31 years (AJK).
Due to the lack of additional security personnel provided by the federal government, the local body polls will be held in three phases throughout the state. The Muzaffarabad division will conduct the first phase of voting today from 8 am to 5 pm without a break.
The Poonch division will have phase two of the LG elections on December 3, while the Mirpur division will hold phase three on December 8.
Three districts in the Muzaffarabad division are now holding their first-phase elections, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). In the past, the districts of Muzaffarabad, Neelam, and Jhelum Valley completed their election preparations.
4,500 men of the Azad Kashmir Police will provide security in the Muzaffarabad district, according to the ECP secretary.
In the Muzaffarabad division, a total of 2,716 candidates, including 31 women.
Through the use of votes, the 695,049 voters in the Muzaffarabad division will choose 595 council members. There are 129,145 voters in the Neelum valley, 154,832 voters in the Jhelum valley, and 411,072 voters in the Muzaffarabad district.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has given out 575 of the political parties’ total tickets to its candidates, followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 545 and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 465.
In the local body elections, 900 independent candidates are also competing.
In the Muzaffarabad division, 1,314 polling stations and 1,884 polling booths have been put up for the local body elections, according to sources with the electoral watchdog. Election duties are carried out by 6,966 officials, including presiding officers and polling officers.
Despite the extreme cold, the LG election is expected to last longer than the general election.