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JUI-F gets most MMA election tickets

Updated June 27, 2018

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PESHAWAR: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl got the lion’s share of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal nominations for the national and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies with differences prevailing within the religious parties’ conglomerate over award of tickets for some areas of the province and Fata.

The differences exist between the JUI-F and Jamaat-i-Islami over the allotment of tickets in Buner district and southern districts of KP.

A mechanism for distribution of tickets for 12 NA seats in Fata has so far not been worked out.

Sources said the JUI-F had proposed to other MMA members that as it and JI were poles apart on the issue of Fata merger, they all should contest elections in the tribal region on their own instead of from the MMA’s platform. They however said the JI rejected the proposal.

“The alliance’s supreme council will make a final decision on the proposal,” said an insider.

He said the JUI-F was against the merger of Fata with KP, while the JI favoured it like other political parties and therefore, the JUI-F was emphasising that the components of the alliance should contest polls independently.

The JUI-F had opposed the constitutional amendment for the merger of Fata with KP in the provincial assembly and parliament.

Five religious parties including the JUI-F, JI, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan-Noorani, Jamiat Ahle Hadiat Pakistan (Sajid Mir group) and Tehreek-i-Islami are contesting elections from the MMA’s platform.

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islami-Sami, whose leader was the founder of the MMA, didn’t become part of the alliance and joined hands with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The MMA had swept polls in 2002 and formed government in KP.

Abdul Wasy, spokesman for the five-party alliance, told Dawn that the MMA member parties had reached an agreement over the national and KP Assembly seats except for Buner district and seven others in the southern belt of the province. He said the JUI-F had been allotted 62 tickets, while the JI had obtained 37 tickets of the provincial assembly.

The JUP-Noorani and TI have been given two seats each. For the National Assembly, the JUI-F has got 26 tickets, JI 11 and Jamiat Ahle Hadiat one. KP has a total of 48 seats including eight reserved for women.

Sources said the MMA supreme council had held two meetings in Peshawar on Sunday night and Saturday to resolve differences over the election nominations for Buner and southern districts.

The MMA meetings remained inconclusive. The JI had demanded one ticket for NA in Dera Ismail Khan, the hometown of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The spokesman acknowledged that differences persisted among components of the alliance in these pockets. Members of the MMA have worked out a formula for the distribution of seats in KP.

Under the formula, the MMA tickets will be awarded to those, who had won the 2013 elections or remained runners-up. The MMA members are allowed to enter seat adjustments with other parties in areas where they have a sizable vote bank or they are comfortable to win the seat.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2018