A total of 2,294 candidates are in the run for 93 provincial assembly (PK), and 47 National Assembly (NA) seats from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
A list of candidates released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shows 856 will contest NA seats from Fata and K-P. Of these, 517 candidates are in the run for National Assembly, while 339 are contesting 12 NA seats from the tribal areas.
In total, 1,438 candidates are competing for 99 general seats of the K-P Assembly.
Figures released by the ECP show constituencies in Fata are hotly contested and almost majority of them have over 30 candidates in the run. Only three constituencies in K-P: one NA and two provincial assembly seats have over 30 candidates.
In large numbers
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has fielded the largest number of candidates contesting for National Assembly and K-P Assembly seats. However, independents make up roughly half of all candidates contesting from K-P and Fata. About 1,003 independents are in the run for national and provincial assembly seats from K-P.
The PTI, which has 144 candidates contesting from across the region has fielded 46 candidates for 47 NA seats, and 98 for 99 PK seats.
Imran Khan’s gang of 144 is followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The PML-N is fielding 138 candidates, including 47 for NA and 91 PK seats.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) stands third with 132 candidates running for 45 NA and 87 PK seats. The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) follows with 127 candidates with 41 for NA and 86 for PK.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP), which both ruled K-P for the last five years, share fifth and six positions respectively with regards to the number of candidates they have put forward for the 2013 elections.
The PPP has fielded 120 people for 38 NA and 82 provincial assembly seats. The ANP has finalised 112 contestants to run for 33 national and 79 provincial assembly seats. The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) has 68 candidates; 19 for NA and 49 for PK seats. Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the party has put forth 64 contenders, 19 NA and 45 PK.
The hot shots
Some of these constituencies will make for a riveting watch as high-profile heavy weights get ready to battle it out.
NA-1 Peshawar I — PTI Chairman Imran Khan will contest against ANP leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour (2008 winner).
NA-5 Nowshera — PTI General Secretary Pervez Khattak, ANP’s Daud Khattak, PPP’s Tariq Khattak (2008 winner) and Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s son Asif Luqman Qazi.
NA-7 Charsadda I — Maulana Gauhar Shah of the JUI-F (with the QWP support), will stand against ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan(2008 winner.)
NA-8 Charsadda II — QWP chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao.
NA-9 Mardan I — Former K-P chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, PML-N Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, JUI-F Maulana Shujaul Mulk. (ANP’s Himayatullah Mayar Awami won the by-election here.)
NA-24 DI Khan — PPP’s Fasial Karim Kundi against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman (the 2008 runner-up).
NA-30 Swat II — PML-N Amir Muqam
NA -35 Malakand — Prominent Pashto progressive, poet Rehmat Shah Sail from the ANP ticket is running against last year’s winner PPP’s Lal M Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2013.