PESHAWAR: As five of the six independent MPAs elected from merged tribal districts lately have joined political parties, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is set to secure two Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats reserved for women, while the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), new entrant to the province’s politics, will bag one seat each.
The PTI will also get a seat reserved for non-Muslims in the recently held provincial assembly elections in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Under the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Act, 2018, 21 seats are allocated to the erstwhile Fata for its first-ever provincial assembly elections, including 16 general seats, four seats reserved for women and one seat reserved for non-Muslims.
JUI-F, BAP will get one seat each
Spokesperson of the Election Commission of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sohail Khan, told Dawn that the commission would name the successful candidates for reserved seats on Sunday or Monday.
In the July 20 polls held for 16 general seats, six were won by independent candidates, five by PTI, three by the JUI-F and one each by Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamaat-i-Islami.
Two of the independent MPAs, Mohammad Shafique from PK-107 Khyber-III and Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal from PK-110 Orakzai, have announced joining PTI. The latter is son of former federal minister Ghazi Ghulab Jamal.
With their joining, the tally of PTI in the polls has risen to seven seats.
In a surprising manner, three of the independents announced joining BAP in Islamabad on Friday amidst presence of Baluchistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal. They include: Abbasur Rehman from PK-104 Mohmand-II, Shafiq Afridi from PK-105 Khyber-I and BIlawal Afridi from PK-106 Khyber-II.
Shafiq Afridi and Bilawal Afridi are the nephew and son of former MNA Haji Gul Afridi, respectively. Similarly, Abbasur Rehman is the brother of Senator Hilal Rehman.
Presently BAP has no presence in the KP Assembly and with the joining of these three MPAs, it is now also entitled to a single women reserved seat.
The sixth independent MPA-elect, Mir Kalam Khan of PK-112 North Waziristan-II, who is affiliated with Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, has retained his independent status.
The ECP had issued the gazette notifications of the returned candidates on Aug 1.
It announced that that under the Constitution’s Article 103(3) sub-clause C, the members to fill seats reserved for women and non-Muslims, which are allocated to a province, will be elected through proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats won by each political party from the province concerned.
The provision also declares that the total number of general seats will include the independent returned candidate or candidates who may duly join such political party within three days of the publication in the official Gazette of the names of the returned candidates.
With seven seats, the ruling PTI is entitled to secure two of the four seats reserved for women, while the JUI-F and BAP, which both having three seats, will get one reserved seat each.
The PTI had given only a single name in its priority list for women reserved seat.
The nominee, Anita Mehsud, is a resident of Islamabad but her vote is registered in South Waziristan tribal district. Now, the party has now given another name for both reserved seats.
Similarly, former JUI-F MNA Naeema Kishwar, who hails from Wana in South Waziristan tribal district, will make it to the provincial assembly as her name is on top of the priority list of her party’s candidates. She remained MPA from 2002 to 2007.
As the BAP didn’t contest elections for general seats, no priority list of candidates was produced by it for seats reserved for women and non-Muslims.
Now as three lawmakers have joined it, the party will nominate a woman candidate for the seat to be allocated to it.
Wilson Wazir of the PTI will become MPA on the single seat reserved for non-Muslims for the tribal districts. A resident of Landi Kotal, Khyber tribal district, he is the lone candidate on the PTI’s priority list.
Currently, the 124-strong assembly has 85 PTI members, 13 of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, 11 of the ANP, six of the PML-N, five of the PPP, one of the PML-Q, and three independents.
Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2019