PESHAWAR: Independent candidates dominated the historic provincial assembly elections in the seven tribal districts of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) by securing six of the 16 general seats, while the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) grabbed five seats, according to the initial results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday.
The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) won three seats, whereas the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) secured one seat each.
The six independent MPAs-elect have assumed greater significance in the current situation as four provincial assembly seats reserved for women and another for non-Muslims have to be filled on the basis of proportionate representation of the seats secured by a political party.
Six seats go to independents, five to PTI, three to JUI-F while JI and ANP win one each
Under the Constitution of Pakistan, an independent MPA who joins a political party within three days of publication of result in the official gazette shall be counted in the overall tally of that particular party for the purpose of deciding reserved seats.
Candidates of the ruling PTI won two of the three seats in Bajaur district; one of the two seats in Kurram district; and one seat each in North and South Waziristan districts.
An interesting contest between candidates of the PTI and the JI was witnessed in the three constituencies of Bajaur, with the former securing two seats.
The PTI’s Anwerzaib Khan was elected on PK-100 (Bajaur-I) seat with 12,951 votes against 11,775 votes of the JI’s Waheed Gul. Similarly, the PTI’s Ajmal Khan won PK-101 (Bajaur-II) seat by securing 12,194 votes against JI candidate and former lawmaker Sahibzada Haroonur Rasheed who received 10,468 votes. However, JI candidate Sirajuddin Khan won PK-102 (Bajaur-III) seat by obtaining 19,088 votes against rival candidate of the PTI Hameedur Rehman who managed to secure 13,436 votes.
An ANP candidate secured one of the two Mohmand tribal district seats, while the other seat went to a brother of Senator Bilalur Rehman who contested the KP election as an independent candidate.
The ANP’s Nisar Mohmand defeated PTI’s Raheem Shah by securing 11,247 votes against 9,669 votes in the PK-103 constituency (Mohmand-I). The independent candidate, Abbas-ur-Rehman, was elected on PK-104 seat (Mohmand-II) with 11,751 votes against the JUI-F’s Mohammad Arif who obtained 9,801 votes.
Khyber and Kurram
The family of former lawmaker Shahjee Gul Afridi — a strong supporter of the merger of erstwhile Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — remained dominant in the Khyber district contest, as his son and nephew won two of the three seats as independent candidates. His nephew, Shafiq Afridi, was elected on PK-105 Khyber-I, whereas his son, Bilawal Afridi, was elected on PK-106 Khyber-II.
Another independent candidate, Mohammad Shafiq, was declared successful on PK-107 (Khyber-III). He defeated former federal minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi who also contested the seat as an independent candidate.
Of the two Kurram district seats, one was grabbed by the JUI-F and the other by the ruling PTI.
After a close contest, JUI-F candidate Mohammad Riaz by securing 11,948 votes defeated independent candidate Jamil Khan who obtained 11,517 votes in PK-108 (Kurram-I) constituency.
The PTI’s Iqbal Mian grabbed PK-109 (Kurram-II) seat by obtaining 39,536 votes against independent candidate Enayat Hussain Tori who received 22,975 votes.
North, South Waziristan and Orakzai
The PTI’s Mohammad Iqbal Khan with 10,200 votes won PK-111 (North Waziristan- I). He defeated JUI-F candidate Samiuddin who obtained 9,288 votes.
A member of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Mir Kalam Khan, who contested the polls as an independent candidate, won PK-112 (North Waziristan-II) seat by getting 12,057 votes against JUI-F candidate Siddiqullah who received 7,978 votes.
However, the JUI-F’s Hafiz Isamuddin was declared successful on PK-113 (South Waziristan-I). He secured 10,356 votes against 9,679 votes of independent candidate Waheed Khan. The PK-113 result was announced in the evening.
PTI candidate Naseerullah Khan grabbed PK-114 (South Waziristan-II) seat by defeating independent candidate Mohammad Arif, who is associated with the PTM, after a tough contest. The PTI candidate received 11,114 votes while Mohammad Arif secured 10,272 votes.
Independent candidate Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, son of former federal minister Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, won the Orakzai district seat (PK-110) of the provincial assembly. He received 18,448 votes against 14,699 votes of PTI’s Shoaib Hassan.
The toughest contest was recorded on PK-115 (ex-Frontier regions), where JUI-F’s Mohammad Shoaib was elected with 18,102 votes with a slight margin, as his rival PTI’s Abidur Rehman got 18,028 votes.
Over 26pc turnout
Contrary to the projection in the broadcast media that voters had turned up in large numbers, the overall turnout remained at a dismal 26.22 per cent as out of total 2.81 million voters, 735,920 exercised their right to vote.
Of the total cast votes, 525,154 were that of male voters (71.37pc) and 210,626 were of female voters (28.62pc).
The overall turnout of male and female voters remained at 31.42pc and 18.63pc, respectively. Of the 1.671 million registered male voters, 525,154 men cast their votes, while 210,626 of the total 1.13 million registered female voters exercised their right to vote.
The lowest turnout (16.14pc) was recorded in PK-113 South Waziristan-I, where 35,318 of the total 218,835 voters cast vote. Similarly, 17.50pc turnout was recorded in PK-107 (Khyber-III) where 37,795 of the total 216,133 voters turned up to cast vote.
The highest percentage of votes polled was in PK-109 Kurram-II where 75,308 of the total 187,844 votes (40.10pc) were cast. The percentage of female voters also remained high in that constituency as 33,536 female voters (44.5pc) cast votes against 41,772 (55.4pc) votes cast by male voters.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019