=> HYDERABAD (February 13 2008): The electioneering f -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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=> HYDERABAD (February 13 2008): The electioneering f

HYDERABAD (February 13 2008): The electioneering for Elections-2008 among contesting candidates in Hyderabad region has gained full momentum and amidst cold breezes, the candidates and their supporters are busy in holding corner meetings for gaining their sympathies of voters in their favour.

Besides holding corner meetings, the candidates and their chief polling agents also started work for appointment of their polling agents at the polling stations, preparation of voters’ slips, hiring of private vehicles and catering services to facilitate their supporters and workers.

According to Deputy Election Commissioner Hyderabad, a total of 122 candidates are contesting elections on 13 National Assembly seats of Hyderabad region, which comprise the districts of Hyderabad, Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Dadu and Jamshoro.

The Election Commission with consultation of the district returning officers and the concerned administration has finalised the places where 3,434 polling stations would be set up for 4,639,716 voters including 2,580,144 male and 2,059,572 female voters for polling on February 18.

Out of these 3,434 polling stations 852 polling stations would be set up separately for male voters, 812 for female voters. While male and female voters would exercise their right of franchise in 1,770 combined polling stations in Hyderabad, Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Dadu and Jamshoro districts.

In October 2002 General Elections Pakistan Peoples Party had lost the sympathies of voters in two NA constituencies in Thatta district and one in Dadu district. Ayaz Ali Shah Shirazi and Muhammad Ali Malkani defeated the PPP candidates in 2002 General Elections, while former federal minister for Water and Power Liaquat Ali Khan Jatoi clinched victory from one of the two seats of Dadu district.

Similarly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement who enjoyed support of urban populace of Hyderabad district also received an upset on one of the two constituencies of urban parts when MMA candidate Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair defeated former Mayor Aftab Ahmed Shaikh.

The tragic assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had brought the sympathies of voters back in Thatta and Dadu districts and now eyeball to eyeball contest could be expected on two National Assembly seats of Thatta and one in Dadu districts.

Similarly, MQM has fielded Salahuddin, former Zonal Organiser MQM Hyderabad to contest election on NA-220 Hyderabad-II (Old Hyderabad-III) against JUP candidate Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair.

PPP Senior Vice Chairman Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, the five times winners from NA-218 Matiari-cum-Hyderabad (Old Hyderabad-I) is finding no difficulty to make a double hat trick of winning the elections.

According to NA wise situation, on NA-218 Matiari-cum-Hyderabad (Old Hyderabad-I), a total of 11 candidates including Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim (PPP) and Makhdoom Shahnawaz Qureshi (PML-N) are contesting the elections.

Since 1988 General Elections, senior Vice Chairman PPP Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim was the winner from this constituency and it is expected that he would retain the same status on February 18.

The Election Commission has decided to set up a total of 263 polling stations including 191 combined and 36 each male and female polling stations with 640 polling booths including 349 male and 291 female booths for 264,342 voters including 147,339 male and 117,003 female. A total of 263 presiding officers, 1,280 assistant presiding officers and 640 polling officers have been engaged to perform election duty.
Source: Business Recorder