The (poli)ticking clock: Arch-rivals PML-N, PTI in the lead in Swat

Both parties best placed to form district govt

Sherinzada June 08, 2015

MINGORA: After vote counting was completed, a two-horse race began between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for the coveted district nazim slot in Swat. Both parties bagged 22 seats each on the district level out of the total 67.

Now all eyes are on the 10 independent candidates whom both parties will be trying to woo in order for either one or the other to establish a government in the district. According to the latest results, 22 district councillors were elected each from PTI and PML-N, whereas independents were the third highest with 10 berths.

The Awami National Party secured eight seats, whereas Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl took two seats. Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Peoples Party also grabbed one seat each.

At the tehsil level, PTI secured 24 seats followed by ANP with 12, PML-N with 10, and JI with seven. JUI-F bagged six berths, while PPP, Qaumi Watan Party and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami have one seat each. Five candidates from all six tehsils of Swat were elected independently.

At this stage, PTI leaders are claiming they have the strength to establish a government at the district level, while PML-N is making a similar assertion. The latter, through the PM’s Adviser Amir Muqam, claims to have 37 district council members on its side. The Nawaz Sharif-led political party has already made alliances with other political parties in the district such as the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The JI is also PTI’s partner in the K-P government.

In the running

Regardless, the top office of district nazim will definitely go to either a member of PTI or PML-N. The prospects for PML-N are Attaullah Khan and Muhammad Ali Shah, while Ali Khan, Ahmad Khan, Habibullah Khan and Rafiqueur Rahman will be in the running for PTI. All four PTI aspirants are close relatives of prominent government and parliamentary office occupants.

PML-N has offered the district naib nazim office to ANP and either Iftikhar Ahmad from Shah Dheri or Abdul Jabbar Durushkela will be the joint candidate for these parties.

Not only has Amir Muqam focused all his energies on top offices, but PTI ministers, advisers and parliamentary secretaries from Swat are also involved in hectic efforts to make the most of the situation.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2015. 


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