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Legislative Assembly Poll Underway in Pakistani Kashmir

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TEHRAN, June 26 (ICANA) – Polling in Pakistan-administered Kashmir began Sunday morning for 41-seat of the Legislative Assembly under tight security, Pakistani officials said.
Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:04:15 PM
Legislative Assembly Poll Underway in Pakistani Kashmir

A total of 421 candidates are in the run and three major political parties – Pakistan People's Party – Muslim Conference and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and several small groups and independent candidates are taking part in elections.

The Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) boycotted the election on Saturday against decision of the Election Commission to postpone polling on three seats over security concerns and reports of bogus votes.

Refugees from the Indian controlled Kashmir, who live across Pakistan, have also been given right to take part in the election and 12 seats have been allocated for them.

Officials say there are about three million and forty thousand registered voters and around 4,350 polling stations have been set up across Kashmir. The Legislative Assembly is elected for five-year time.

Polling started at 10 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. without any recess. Unofficial results will be announced after counting of the ballot papers, officials said.

The authorities have declared several areas sensitive and paramilitary troops have also been deployed in sensitive areas.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and main opposition leader Nawaz Sharif campaigned for their candidates and addressed election rallies.

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