Independent candidates secured the most number of seats followed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the first-ever provincial elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's merged tribal districts, according to unofficial Form-47 results published by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on their website on Sunday.
Polls were held on Saturday for 16 general seats in seven tribal districts and six towns of KP.
Voting was held from 8am to 5pm without a break amid tight security, with army troops, Levies and Khasadar forces deployed outside all 1,897 polling stations. Security personnel were also deployed inside polling stations that had been declared highly sensitive.
In all, 285 candidates, including two women, contested the 16 general seats of the KP Assembly to represent three constituencies each of Bajaur (PK-100 to 102) and Khyber (PK-105 to 107) districts; two each of Mohmand (PK-103 and 104), Kurram (PK-108 and 109), North Waziristan (PK-111 and 112) and South Waziristan (PK-113 and 114); and one each of Orakzai (PK-110) district and ex-Frontier regions (PK-115).
Besides nominees from PTI, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Peoples Party- Parliamentarians (PPP-P), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), several independent candidates contested the polls.
Breakdown of winners by political affiliation
- Independent: 6 seats
- PTI: 5 seats
- JUI-F: 3 seats
- JI: 1 seat
- ANP: 1 seat
- PK-100 Bajaur-I: PTI's Anwar Zeb Khan
- PK-101 Bajaur-II: PTI's Ajmal Khan
- PK-102 Bajaur-III: JI's Sirajuddin
- PK-103 Mohmand-I: ANP's Nisar Ahmed
- PK-104 Mohmand-II: Independent candidate Abbasur Rehman
- PK-105 Khyber-I: Independent candidate Shafiq Afridi
- PK-106 Khyber-II: Independent candidate Bilawal Afridi
- PK-107 Khyber-III: Independent candidate Mohammad Shafiq
- PK-108 Kurram-I: JUI-F's Mohammad Riaz
- PK-109 Kurram-II: PTI's Syed Iqbal Mian
- PK-110 Orakzai: Independent candidate Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal
- PK-111 North Waziristan-I: PTI's Muhammad Iqbal Khan
- PK-112 North Waziristan-II: Independent candidate Mir Kalam Khan
- PK-113 South Waziristan-I: JUI-F's Hafiz Asamuddin
- PK-114 South Waziristan-II: PTI's Naseerullah Khan
- PK-115 Ex-frontier regions: JUI-F's Mohammad Shoaib
In Sheen Qamar area of Bara, Khyber district, local elders of the Zaodin Zakhakhel tribe decided to keep women away from the polling stations reportedly due to the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras there. Saadullah Khan, an area resident, told Dawn that the number of registered female voters in Sheen Qamar was around 2,000 but none of them was allowed to cast her vote despite some resistance from locals.
The only woman contestant for Khyber-I (PK-106) seat was Naheed Afridi fielded by the ANP.
The overall turnout at around 345 polling stations, both male and female, was lower than expected as most of the registered women voters stayed away from casting their votes in Bara, Jamrud and Landi Kotal.
Heela Shinwari, who exercised her right to vote for the first time, said that lack of knowledge about casting of votes was one of the main reasons for low turnout of female voters.
Female voting at the polling station, which was set up at the government higher secondary school, was suspended for a brief time when rival candidates objected to presence of some male voters in the polling area.
Shareef Khan, a resident of Tirah, told Dawn that the polling remained peaceful but the turnout was not up to their expectations.
In Mohmand district, both male and female voters came out to elect their representative for three seats of KP Assembly.
For the first time, women were seen casting their votes in the Safi tehsil of the tribal district.
Tight security arrangements were made by the district administration with the support of the local police and Levies and Khasadar forces.
Around 1,700 personnel were deployed besides monitoring of election activities through CCTV cameras at all the 194 polling stations to ensure a free and fair election.
In Kurram district the turnout of voters was also low, leading to announcements from local mosques urging voters to use their right to franchise and visit the polling stations. Both men and women cast their votes.
The only woman contestant for Kurram-II (PK-109) seat, named Malasa, was fielded by the JI.
North, South Waziristan
In North Waziristan, participation of voters was low apparently due to curfew and enforcement of Section 144 of the criminal procedure code during the pre-election days.
No incident of violence was reported from South Waziristan as polling remained peaceful in the tribal district.
A vehicle taking voters to a polling station in Orakzai district fell into a ravine, leaving two people dead and eight others injured.
Election material was dispatched to all the polling stations in the constituency in time and no complaint about any shortcomings had been received from any area. However, according to reports, turnout of female voters remained low.
Voting for the three provincial assembly seats in Bajaur tribal district was held peacefully.
The ECP had established 338 polling stations for the three constituencies in which 67 had been declared sensitive and 27 most sensitive.
Subsequently, strict security arrangements were witnessed at all polling stations across the district to thwart any unpleasant incident during the polling. None of the polling stations that Dawn visited was found crowded during the day.
Polling at 10 polling stations in Betanni tribal subdivision (PK-115) ended peacefully amid tight security on Saturday evening.
A rush of voters was seen at the polling stations in the morning and just before closing time, as people used their right of franchise for the first time for a seat of the provincial assembly. Women voters also came out of their houses and went to polling stations to cast their votes.