QUETTA: As independent candidates consolidated their grip in Balochistan’s local government elections, the official poll supervisory body announced on Sunday that it will issue the schedule for by-elections in more than 600 constituencies within eight days.
According to unofficial results collected by the Election Commission of Pakistan, independent candidates have secured more than 700 seats in rural and urban areas of the province.
The National Party (NP) secured 172 seats, with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) bagging 161, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) 160, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) 123 and Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) clinching merely 24 seats. The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) had three councillors elected from Quetta.
“We have got the results of 16 districts out of a total of 29 where elections were held,” Provincial Election Commissioner Sultan Bayazeed said. “The results are still coming in from remote areas and will be compiled by the early hours of Monday. However, the final list of candidates will be issued by December 10.”
Elections were not held in 236 union councils of Kech and 30 constituencies of Awaran.
Bayazeed said that the election commission will announce the exact number of constituencies where elections have not been held once the process of collecting results is completed. “Elections were not held in 527 constituencies on December 7 as candidates had not submitted nomination papers, while polling could not take place in different union councils because of problems ranging from missing symbols to delay in transporting materials,” he said.
According to the provincial election commission, there are a total of 58 seats for the metropolitan corporation in Quetta. PkMAP has bagged 19 seats, while independent candidates have acquired 18. The PML-N has seven, BNP-Mengal three, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) four, HDP three, NP two and JUI-Ideology and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen one each.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2013.
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