These elections were a historic occasion for Pakistan's democracy. For the first time ever, a civilian government had completed a full legislative period and relinquished power peacefully. Moreover, an interim government had for the first time been formed, while the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) had been strengthened by improvements put in place by an ever more institutionalised parliamentary system. Since the previous elections, headway had been made in strengthening democracy and taking power away from the military. That said, this political transition has not been without suspicions of military involvement. It is believed that the military have backed those politicians least critical of it and ideologically closest to its viewpoints. In these elections 70,000 soldiers ensured security in those polling stations regarded as high-risk (44% of the more than 69,000 polling stations).