To commemorate the First General Elections for National Assembly in the country, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of 20-Paisa denomina-tion on December 7, 1970.
The first ever general elections on the basis of universal adult franchise and on the principle of ‘one man one vote’ will be held in Pakistan on 7th of De-cember, 1970 to elect the members of the National Assembly. 300 members of the National Assembly will be elected directly by nearly 56.5 million registered voters throughout the country. Out of this total of 300 members, 162 will be from East Pakistan, 82 from Punjab, 27 from Sind, 18 from N.W.F.P., 7 from Centrally Administered Tribal Areas and 4 from Baluchistan. The elected members of the National Assembly from the respective Province will elect 13 women members (East Pakistan-7, Punjab-3, N.W.F.P.-l, Sind-I and Balu-chistan-I). (Elections to 9 constituen-cies in East Pakistan which have been badly affected by the devastating cyclonic storm and tidal bore on the night of 12th and 13th November 1970 will, however, be held later).
The present elections are unique as through them will be elected a National Assembly which will have the privilege of framing a constitution for the country. The National Assembly, after completing its task of constitution making, will become the Central Legis-lature under that Constitution. The Election Commission has worked with unprecedented speed in completing the. different stages of the elections viz., the preparation of election rolls, delimita-tion of constituencies and preparations for the actual polls. The total number of voters regis-tered in the country is nearly 5,65,00,000., 3,13,00000 voters having been registered in East Pakistan and 2,52,00,000 in West Pakistan (including electors from the Centrally Administer-ed Tribal Areas). The right of adult franchise has been extended to some tribal areas of the N.W.F.P. and Balu-chistan for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
To ensure that the elections are free and fair, the Election Commission has introduced many innovations which exist only in the most advanced democracies. The marking system of voting under which a common ballot paper containing the names of all the candi-dates with their symbols, the common ballot box, and the use of indelible ink are some of the salient features. Secrecy of the ballot is fully ensured by requiring the voter to mark the ballot paper In a screened place with a marking aid to be provided for the purpose. Polling throughout the country (except the cyclone affected 9 constituencies of East Pakistan referred to above) will be completed in a single day on 7th De-cember, 1970.
To help the voters in identifying the candidates, the Election Commis-sion has allocated 24 symbols for the candidates sponsored by political parties. The remaining 31 symbols were available for independent candidates.
Government servants (including members of the Armed Forces) holders of public offices, wives of such Government servants and holders of public offices and persons in jail or under legal custody have been given the facility to vote by post. This facility has also been extended to persons who have been appointed for election duties.
Elections to National Assembly will be held on 7th of December, 1970 and the official results of the count will be known within a couple of days following the election. 1581 candidates are contesting 299 (one having been return-ed unopposed) National Assembly seats—800 from West Pakistan for 137 seats, 589 as party nominees and 211 as independents, and 781 for 162 seats in East Pakistan—667 as party nominees and 114 as Independents. (The East Pakistan figures which include the existing numbers relating to the cyclone affected constituencies may eventually be somewhat different).