QUETTA, Dec 6, 2013 (Abdul Malik Achakzai / UPI Next) — More than 50,000 security personnel were deployed to secure the balloting process for the local elections Saturday (Dec. 7) in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.
Voters were to select members of local governments, such as district councils, in the first local elections since the 2005 polling under then-Pakistani military leader Pervez Musharraf.
One reason the elections are significant is that while previously Pakistan’s federal government issued a budget to local governments across the country, Islamabad has now delegated responsibility for funding local governments to provincial governments.
There are 5,808 polling stations in the province for 3.2 million voters. Of these, 2,776 are considered sensitive for security reasons.
This is the first time local body elections have been contested on a party basis, with candidates able to be elected directly through adult franchise.