Pakistan to deploy 600,000 security staff for vote

Associated Press
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A Pakistani woman walks past posters of a parliamentary election candidate in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 29, 2013. Candidates restricted their election campaigns to corner meetings and social media due to ongoing attacks by Taliban on their offices and rallies of various political parties. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A spokesman for Pakistan's top election body says authorities plan to deploy over 600,000 security personnel during next week's parliamentary election to prevent possible Taliban attacks.

Spokesman Khursheed Alam said on Thursday that the figure includes police, paramilitary forces and 50,000 soldiers who will be deployed around the country for the May 11 vote.

He says the Election Commission of Pakistan would have about 5-10 security personnel at each polling station.

Alam says the Commission is setting up about 73,000 polling stations in Pakistan to ensure a free and fair vote.

The upcoming election is historic as it will mark the first transfer of power between democratically elected governments in this Islamic nation that has experienced three military coups since 1947.