ISLAMABAD: The complete and unofficial results of Sunday’s cantonment board elections show that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have left all the other political parties far behind in terms of winning most of the seats as the two remained victorious in nearly 58 per cent wards of 41 cantonments.
The PTI is at the top of the list with 63 seats, followed by the PML-N with 59 seats in 212 wards of 41 cantonments where the elections with a low turnout were held on Sunday.
Interestingly, the independents have won 51 seats, 12 more than the combined winning seats of five other political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The PTI is the only party which secured victories in all the four provinces. The PML-N did not even field any candidate in Balochistan.
Independents get a heavy chunk of 51 seats
Though the PTI has secured most of the seats all over the country, its defeat at the hands of the PML-N in Punjab has surprised many political analysts, who had predicted the PTI’s victory in the province, being the ruling party.
The results show that the PPP has won 17 seats — 14 in Sindh and three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — whereas Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) has managed to bag seven seats — two in Punjab and five in Sindh.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement bagged 10 seats (all in Sindh), the Balochistan Awami Party won three seats (all in Balochistan) and the Awami National Party (ANP) remained victorious in two wards of KP.
The religious parties once again failed to make any impact as only the JI has succeeded in getting some seats whereas the other religious parties, including the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and the banned Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), failed to win even a single seat despite fielding candidates in good number.
The three religious parties — JI, JUI-F and TLP — had fielded a total of 212 candidates in as many wards, but only seven candidates, out of 105 fielded by the JI, remained victorious. Thus, the victory rate of the three religious parties remained only a little over three per cent.
A total of 1,513 candidates had contested the elections in 206 general seats in as many wards of the country’s 39 cantonment boards on Sunday, which was the first electoral contest at the grassroots level between arch political rivals since the 2018 general elections.
There are 219 wards in 42 cantonment boards all over the country, but no polling was held in any of the nine wards of Kamra, Cherat and Murree Gallies cantonments where either the candidates have been elected unopposed or polling has been postponed. In Kamra, all the candidates have boycotted the elections in protest against the delimitation of their wards.
Similarly, polling was not held in one ward each at Lahore and Rawalpindi cantonments due to the deaths of candidates.
The cantonments where elections were held inclused Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Wah, Taxila, Murree, Attock, Sanjwal, Jhelum, Mangla, Sargodha, Shorkot, Gujranwala, Kharian, Sialkot, Lahore, Walton, Okara, Multan and Bahawalpur (Punjab); Hyderabad, Karachi, Clifton, Malir, Faisal, Korangi Creek, Manora and Panno Aqil (Sindh); Peshawar, Risalpur, Nowshera, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, D.I. Khan, Abbottabad and Havelian (KP); and Quetta, Zhob and Loralai (Balochistan).
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021