To the booth: Voters gear up for LG by-polls in Hazara

Candidates vie for vacant seats in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram


Muhammad Sadaqat February 19, 2016
Candidates vie for vacant seats in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

ABBOTABAD: Voters in Hazara Division are preparing to take part in the local government by-elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on February 21.

An insider familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune the polls were initially scheduled for January 23. However, electioneering screeched to a grinding halt after the attack on Bacha Khan University, Charsadda.

After the schedule was announced by the Election Commission this week, “Over the last two days, canvassing has picked up once again in the region,” he said. “A series of announcements have been made by candidates. Many of them have been holding meetings with voters till late in the evening.”

Vacant slots in Abbottabad

There are 284 vacant seats in Abbottabad district. This was stated in a document obtained from the office of Abbottabad district election commissioner.



Of these, 192 are minority seats, 53 women, 34 general councillor, three peasant worker and two youth councillor seats from various village and neighbourhood councils.

As per the document, there are no contenders for the minority seats. However, there are 122 candidates vying for the remaining 92 seats.

It is believed candidates have been elected unopposed to some of these 92 seats. However, details on this have not been ascertained.

In the running

According to insiders, there are 78 candidates vying for 27 vacant seats in 12 union councils in Mansehra.

At least seven candidates are competing for two district council seats. On the other hand, 45 candidates are vying for 14 general councillor seats, six for two youth councillor slots, five for two peasant worker seats and 15 candidates for seven women’s seats.

In Battagram, there are 23 candidates for four seats of two UCs.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Battagram district election commissioner said nine candidates are competing for a district council seat in Kuza Banda UC.

There are two vacant district council seats in Haripur district. However, the by-election is being held for a seat in Sera-e-Saleh UC where three candidates are competing.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th,  2016.

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