Supporters of former Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan listen as he addresses a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally in Mianwali, some 240km south-west of Islamabad. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party led by Imran Khan has fielded more candidates than any other party for the 2018 general elections, covering almost 90 per cent of the national and provincial assembly seats that are being contested.

The party will field a candidate in 244 National Assembly constituencies. That amounts to 89 per cent of the 272 National Assembly seats being contested across the country.

In the provincial elections, it is fielding candidates in 522 of the 577 provincial assembly seats on offer (90.2 per cent), according to English daily, The Express Tribune.

These include 277 candidates in Punjab province, 97 in Sindh province, 97 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 40 seats in Balochistan province, according to a PTI spokesperson.

The high number of candidates has been made possible through electoral alliances that have resulted in seat adjustments in different constituencies.

These alliances are with the Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain-led Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the Shaikh Rasheed-led Awami Muslim League (AML), Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and the Ijazul Haq-led Pakistan Muslim League-Ziaul Haq (PML-Z).

The number of candidates fielded by the two other biggest political parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — pales in comparison.

The PPP has fielded a total of 176 candidates whereas the PML-N, the immediate past ruling party, has so far announced only 125 candidates.

Two days earlier, Imran’s party announced new list of candidates for National Assembly elections and four provincial assembly seats after addressing the grievances of party workers and reviewing applications submitted by various contesting candidates.

Imran will contest the general elections in five constituencies whereas party leader Shah Mahmoud Quraishi will contest from three constituencies. Tahir Sadiq and Gulam Sarwar are contesting in two constituencies each.

According to the list of National Assembly candidates announced by these parties so far, the PTI has fielded 14 women candidates while the PPP has fielded a total 12 women. The PML-N has so far announced only five women candidates.

All political parties are required to allocate at least 5 per cent of their electoral tickets to women on general seats of national and provincial assemblies as per the Elections Act of 2017.

June 29 was the last day for the candidates to submit or withdraw their nomination papers to contest the upcoming elections.

A fresh list of candidates will be made available by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on its website.