MIRPUR (AJK): The second phase of the AJK local government elections was completed on Saturday after a mammoth chunk of over 1.16 million registered voters used their right of franchise to elect their representatives to the civic institutions in all four districts of the Poonch division including Rawalakot, Sudhanoti, Bagh and Haveili.
At least 3,500 armed troops of civil forces, including Punjab and KP police, were made available to assist local civil administration and AJK police to ensure the holding of the civic polls in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
The LG elections in Azad Jammu Kashmir are being held in three phases on a political party basis. However, independent candidates are also in the run to contest the polls to get into the civic bodies of all categories across the liberated territory.
Adequate arrangements have been made for holding the LG polls in AJK in a due free, fair, and transparent manner after a long pause of over three decades.
It may be mentioned that in the first phase, the LG elections were held in the Muzaffarabad division on November 27.
In the second phase of the polls held in the Poonch division on Saturday, a total of 1,016,889 registered voters took part in the polling in their respective union councils, besides the district councils and municipalities of their respective areas.
Polling started at 8:00 in the morning and continued till 5:00 pm without any pause.
A total of 1,859 polling stations containing 2,697 polling booths were set up in all four districts of the Poonch division wherein 558 polling stations for males, 542 for female voters, and 762 joint polling stations were set up to facilitate the registered voters.
Polling all over the Poonch division mostly remained peaceful, according to the reports. Counting of votes started soon after the completion of the polling process under the auspices of the returning officers of the concerned constituencies in all four above districts.
Polling in the 3rd and last phase of the elections will be held in all three districts of Mirpur division, including Mirpur, Kotli, and Bhimber on December 8. A total of 1,232,079 registered voters will go to exercise their right of franchise. Kotli district has 563,016 registered voters, Mirpur district 366,043, while Bhimber district has a total of 303,020 registered voters.
A total of 1,026 polling stations would be set up in Kotli district, 625 in Mirpur district, and 538 in Bhimber district respectively with 1,602, 924, and 850 polling booths in the three above districts respectively to facilitate both male and female registered voters.
Muzaffarabad division is comprising three districts: Muzaffarabad, Neelam Valley, and Jhelum Valley while it has a total of 695,049 registered male and female voters – wherein the civic polls have been held in the first phase on November 27.