QUETTA: The final phase of local bodies elections in Balochistan concluded with the ruling coalition partners winning a majority of seats in Quetta and other parts of the province on Wednesday.
No untoward incident was reported from any part of the province during the elections.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told Dawn that the councilors' turnout was high in the final phase and the government succeeded in maintaining peace.
“These elections will help in improving the law and order situation,” Bugti said.
|Provincial government ensured maximum security during LB polls. — Photo: Hafeez Sherani|
Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), a coalition partner in Balochistan government, won the seat of Quetta city mayor.
Dr Kaleemullah Khan of PkMAP has been elected as the city mayor and Mohammad Younas Baloch as the deputy mayor.
Dr Kaleem secured 54 votes and his opponent Mohammad Qasim Achakzai of All Parties Democratic Alliance (APDA) got 14 votes.
For deputy mayor’s office, Younas Baloch got 56 votes and his opponent from APDA, Raza Wakeel, secured 56 votes.
Dr Kaleemullah and Younas Baloch were jointly supported by PkMAP, National Party, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen.
Qasim Achakai and Raza Wakeel were supported by APDA — an alliance of seven political and religious parties.
Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Malik Naeem Bazai was elected as the district chairman of Quetta and Asmatullah of PkMAP as deputy district chairman.
|Elected female councilors take oath. — Photo: Hafeez Sherani|
Elsewhere in the province, PML-N, NP, PkMAP and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl reflected a stronger position.
PML-N secured the seat of chairman and deputy chairman in resource-rich Dera Bugti district for the first time. Ghullam Nabi Shambani was elected as chairman and Shah Murad Masoori Bugti as deputy chairman of the district.
PPP secured the seat of district chairman Barkhan with Amir Mohammad Khetran as its candidate. Sultan Sherani of PkMAP managed to win the elections for chairman of Sherani district.
The Balochistan National Party – Mengal — a nationalist group — also secured some seats in Baloch dominated areas.
|Oath taking ceremony for mayor and deputy mayor of Quetta. — Photo: Hafeez Sherani|
According to unofficial results, NP candidate Fid Dashti was elected as district chairman of Kech and Mir Aurangzaib Jamaldini was elected as district chairman Noshki.
Elections were postponed in Killa Abdullah, Mastung, Killa Saifullah and some other districts due to lack of quorum.
All political parties were testing their muscles to win the seat of Quetta mayor. There had been a deadlock among the coalition partners to decide on a unanimous candidate for the seat which ended on Tuesday with Dr Kaleemullah emerging as the candidate.
Local bodies elections were held in Balochistan on December 7, 2013 on the directives of the Supreme Court.
|Vote count in progress for Balochistan LB polls. — Photo: Hafeez Sherani|
However, its final phase had been delayed as PkMAP filed a petition with the Balochistan High Court for inclusion of professionals for reserved seats. The Balochistan High Court had rejected the plea and PkMAP then filed a petition with the apex court against the decision.
The case had delayed the completion of LB polls for more than a year. The PkMAP decided to withdraw from the case paving the way for the polls to conclude.
“Thousands of councilors were elected with no major terror incident reported across the province,” Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Malik Baloch told Dawn.
He expressed pleasure over the completion of final phase of the elections. The chief minister also congratulated the newly elected mayor of Quetta and elected chairmen across the province.