Rubina Khalid
Rubina Khalid

PESHAWAR: The Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) has surprisingly won one general seat and one seat reserved for women in Khyber Pakhtun­khwa in the Senate elections despite having only six members in the provincial assembly of 124 members.

According to unofficial results issued on Saturday, out of the seven general seats from the province, three were won by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, and one each by the Jamaat-i-Islami, PPP and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman and an independent candidate who was backed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Out of the four seats reserved for women and technocrats from the province, two were won by the PTI and one each by the PPP and an independent candidate backed by the PML-N.

PPP’s Bahramand Khan Tangi was elected on a general seat while the party’s Rubina Khalid was declared winner on a seat reserved for women.

The PPP has total six MPAs in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, but MPA Ziaullah Afridi who has been expelled from PTI has joined it. Mr Tangi is an old guard and a diehard worker of the PPP.

Contrary to its expectation of winning six of 11 seats from the province, the PTI won five seats, including two seats reserved for women and technocrats.

The PTI’s candidates who have won general seats are Muhammad Ayub Afridi and Fida Muhammad. The party’s candidates who have won seats reserved for women and technocrats are KP assembly’s Deputy Speaker Dr Meher Taj Roghani and Azam Swati, respectively.

Maulana Samiul Haq, who was backed by the PTI, has failed to secure a seat reserved for technocrats. Maulana Sami, who is the head of his own faction of the JUI, bagged only four votes.

Bahramand Khan Tangi
Bahramand Khan Tangi

PTI chairman Imran Khan had claimed before the Senate elections that his party would win six seats in addition to the victory of Maulana Sami who contested the election as an independent candidate.

The voting pattern shows that at least 11 PTI MPAs have not voted for their party’s candidates.

Pir Sabir Shah, former chief minister of the province, who was backed by the PML-N has been declared winner on a general seat. Another independent candidate, Dilawar Khan, who was also backed by the PML-N won a seat reserved for technocrats.

The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) despite striking a deal with the PTI suffered a setback and could not succeed as its sole candidate, Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, lost the election on a seat reserved for women. The party had withdrawn its candidate, Haji Ghufran, on a general seat. The QWP has 10 members in the assembly.

Talha Mehmood of the JUI-F has won a general seat. Another candidate of the party, Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, has lost the election.

Interestingly, the JUI-F and PPP had entered into an electoral arrangement, but the former with 15 MPAs could win only a single seat.

A total of 122 MPAs exercised their right to vote. One seat in the provincial assembly is vacant due to the disqualification of PTI’s Abdul Munim, whereas for another seat, which is reserved for minorities, MPA-elect Baldev Kumar has not taken the oath of office.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2018

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