ISLAMABAD: The results of local government elections for Cantonment Boards of the country reflect the popularity of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has emerged as the most popular party in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, with 256 seats in 24 District Councils.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced party positions under which PTI has secured 256 seats out of 978 seats in 24 districts of the province. According to details, PTI secured 42 seats out of 92 from Peshawar district. In Haripur, considered a stronghold of PML-N, PTI secured 24 out of 45 seats. In Swat both PTI and PML-N secured 22 seats each while Malakand was the only District Council where PPP did well, securing eight seats out of 29 though it was one seat short of PTI which got nine seats.
PTI’s position may strengthen further as the ECP has decided to hold fresh elections at hundreds of polling stations where the May 30 elections were marred by large scale irregularities.
Awami National Party (ANP), which had a dismal performance in the 2013 general elections as former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti was the only member of the party who had won election of National Assembly, has secured 106 seats.
The Jamat-e-Islami (JI), a coalition partner of the PTI in K-P, secured 71 seats, PML-N 87 seats, Qaumi Watan Party-Sherpao (QWP-S) 12 seats, PPP 43 seats, while All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) secured two seats.
The ECP had notified more than 250 polling stations across K-P, where fresh polling will be held on July 30. The re-polling was first announced to take place on July 5 but the dates were changed as some parties approached the court and secured a stay order.
The commission had ordered re-elections since it had received irrefutable evidences of irregularities from these polling stations, including snatching of ballot boxes, ballot papers and use of force to influence the election process on polling day.
Under K-P local government act, each voter is given ballot papers of seven different categories for voting. In what was a very complicated exercise which took a voter 15 minutes to poll his/her vote in scorching heat, violence was reported in many areas of province on the polling day.
Other than the polling stations and constituencies where re-poll has been ordered, ECP has asked the complainants of other areas to approach post-election tribunals with their complaints. A total of 92 tribunals have been set up in K-P for LG elections related complaints.
Those elected as independents in May 30th local government elections have been given an opportunity to join a political party if they wish so. According to details the number of independent candidates who had won the elections is 165.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015.
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