TIMERGARA/UPPER DIR: For the first time in the history of Dir districts, eight Christians have also filed nomination papers for different slots in the upcoming local government elections.
Sources in the election office in Timergara told Dawn on Sunday that first time in Lower Dir, 482 women, 875 youth and five minority candidates had filed papers for reserved seats in the village councils.
In Upper Dir, the election officials said three Christians had filed papers for different positions in the district and tehsil councils.
Two of them are male identified as Shehbaz Maseeh and Baber Maseeh and one woman, Nasra, they added.
The election sources in Timergara said that overall 5,228 aspirants had filed papers for different tiers of the local government elections.
The sources said 314 candidates had submitted their papers for 60-member district council. They said May 5 and 6 had been fixed for scrutiny of nomination papers.
They said that 307 candidates filed papers with the concerned returning officers for seven tehsil councils, including Adenzai, Timergara, Balambat, Munda, Samar Bagh, Lal Qilla and Khall. “A total of 2,317 candidates, including general and minority councillors, submitted papers for different slots in village councils,” they maintained.
Similarly, 928 aspirants submitted papers for 195 peasant (reserved) seats in the district.
The sources said Lower Dir had been divided into 41 union councils (wards), seven tehsil councils, 18 neighbourhood councils in urban areas and 198 village councils.
Meanwhile, official sources said majority of women candidates might be elected unopposed.
On the other hand, workers of JI, PPP, PTI and JUI-F alleged that their party leaderships had totally ignored them in nomination of candidates for reserved seats, and nominated their near and dear ones.
Thousands submit nomination papers for local govt elections
In Upper Dir, the election officials said over 3,200 candidates had filed nomination papers for district councilors, tehsil councilors, general councilors, peasant, youth and women seats.
There was great rush of people at the offices of the returning officers at the four tehsils of the district.
With the first phase of filing papers having been completed, political activities that had already started would gain further momentum.
According to the data received from election office, a total of 1,609 candidates submitted papers for 109 general councilors and 32 villages and neighborhood councils. A total of 323 papers were submitted for women general seats and 548 for youth seats. The nomination papers filed for peasant/workers seats numbered 599.
A total of 31 candidates submitted papers for 16 reserved seats for district council. Ten seats are reserved for women and two each for peasants, youth and minorities.
Jamaat-i-Islami district emir Sahibzada Faseehullah, PPP’s Rahatullah and ANP’s Nasurullah are among the candidates in the run on the reserved seats for peasant and workers.
Sources said 30 candidates also submitted papers for seven reserved seats in Dir tehsil, where four seats are reserved for women and one each for peasant, minority and youth.
For four reserved seats in Kalkot tehsil, 13 candidates filed papers. Five candidates each submitted papers for peasant and youth reserved seats, while three for the women seats.
In Barawal tehsil, 97 candidates submitted papers for four reserved seats, one each for women, peasant, youth and minority. While in Wari tehsil, process of filing nomination papers for six reserved seats -- three for women and one each for youth, peasant and minority — was yet to be completed.
Scrutiny of the nomination papers would be held from April 20 to 25. The sources said that though election for village councils were non-party, candidates displayed party flags when they arrived for filing nomination papers at the offices of the returning officers.
In Abbottabad, as many as 5,657 candidates filed papers for the 51 wards, two tehsil, 195 village and 14 neighbourhood councils.
According to data received from the district returning office, 368 candidates filed papers for 51 wards, while 388 filed papers for tehsil councillors.
For general seats, 2,439 candidates filed papers -- 977 for peasants, 581 women and 25 for non-Muslim seats, respectively.
Abbottabad district has two tehsils — Abbottabad and Havelian — comprising 51 wards. Abbottabad teshil has 35 union councils and Havelian 16.
Meanwhile, PTI aspirants have complained about interference by the party’s ministers in allotment of party tickets for the polls.
In Mardan, over 6,000 candidates, including 961 women and 40 minority community members, submitted their papers to contest the local government elections, relevant officials said on Sunday.
They said 490 candidates filed papers for district council and 497 for tehsil council, respectively.
Similarly, they said 2,937 aspirants filed papers for union council and village council seats. About 1,052 applied for youth, 961 women, 115 for farmers and 40 for minority seats, respectively.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2015