Term ends in 2019: Opposition makes comeback in local govt by-elections

Turnout remains lacklustre over lack of enthusiasm for short-term local bodies

Mureeb Mohmand December 24, 2018

PESHAWAR: The eighth local government by-elections held on Sunday across the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The turnout in the election was comparatively low as the voters as well as the candidate did not show much interest in the short-term victory with the term of LG ending in 2019. Another deterrent was the cold weather and short day.

Polling started from 8am and continued till 4pm without any break for the by-election held on 52 vacant seats of district councillors, 32 seats of town and tehsil councillors and 54 seats of village and neighbourhood councils.

Among these 44 seats are general, while the reserved seats include one women councillor and six youth, and three labour and peasant councillors.

The returning officers in most of the districts have announced unofficial results of the election till 8pm Sunday night.

Districts returning officers will announce official results on Monday after receiving these from returning officers concerned and will send the same to provincial election commission, an official of the provincial election commission told The Express Tribune.

Result of the election

In Peshawar the LG by-elections were held on six town council seats where both PTI and ANP have won three seats each according to unofficial result announced by returning officers. In the July’s General Election PTI had won all NA and PK seats from Peshawar except one PK seat of ANP, while later in by-election ANP won two other PK seats.

In Charsadda where PTI had won two NA and four out of five PK seats in General Elections, ANP, PPP and JUIF made an alliance and succeeded in kicking out PTI from local bodies.

JUIF, ANP and QWP have succeeded in winning three district and three tehsil council seats, while PTI could only grab one tehsil council seat with thin margin of few votes, here PPP senator Behraman Khan’s son won tehsil council seat.

In Swat where in last General Election PTI had won all NA and PK seats, it managed to secure only four out of 10 districts seats, and two tehsil council seats, while ANP won three district and PML-N got two district seats, while an independent candidate grabbed one.

In Mansehra district PML-N won two district and one tehsil council seat while PTI managed to win only one district and one tehsil council seats.

In Bannu, out of five district and one town council seats vacated by PTI councillors elected to the parliament, JUIF won three, independents two and ANP one.

Similarly, in Mardan, Swabi, DI Khan Hango and Kohat and other district both PTI and opposition have contested election against each other and the election result remained mix as compared to General Election where PTI have swept the ground against opposition.

Effect on Local Bodies

Although this election may not affect much on the formation of district governments in most of the districts, but it may have an impact in some districts like Charsadda where PTI councillors are in power with thin majority.

According to Election Commission of Pakistan, a total of 1,255 polling stations had been set up across the province, of which 447 were for men and 387 for women and 421 were combined.

Overall 3,685 polling booths were set up out of which 2,086 were male and 1,599 were female. A total of 1,255 presiding officers performed duty, out of which 868 were men and 387 women.

Similarly, 3,702 assistant presiding officers and 3,685 polling officers performed duties on by-polls day.

Peaceful by-election

K-P government spokesperson Ajmal Khan Wazir in his statement showed satisfaction over peaceful conducting and arrangement of local government by-election across the province.

He said that the provincial government had made peaceful arrangement for local government by-election.

“About 12,000 police personnel had been deployed for conducting peaceful by-elections. Not a single incident of violence has been reported from across the K-P,” Wazir said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2018.


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