PESHAWAR: The first phase of local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was completed on Sunday as re-polling as well as fresh polls were carried out peacefully in 13 districts of the province, with preliminary results showing that Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) was continuing to fare well in elections to positions of mayor/chairman of tehsil councils.
Re-polling was carried out at several polling stations in 19 tehsils for the seats of mayor/chairman while fresh polling was held for Dera City Council’s mayoral slot.
Till the filing of this report on Sunday night, initial results indicated that after re-polling held in 19 tehsils, JUI-F had won four seats and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and independent candidates three seats each of tehsil councils, followed by one each by Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Tehreek-i-Islahat Pakistan (TIP).
PTI candidate Umar Amin Gandapur was leading in the fresh polls for position of Dera City’s mayor in D.I. Khan district and Haji Said Bacha of JUI-F was leading in Khar tehsil.
Similarly, Najeebullah Khan, an independent candidate for Nawagai tehsil of Bajaur, and ANP’s candidate Waliullah and PTI’s candidate Israr Khan were leading in Bakhakhel tehsil and Domail tehsil of Bannu, respectively.
The coveted position of mayor of Peshawar’s city council was won by JUI-F’s candidate Zubair Ali whereas PTI’s Rizwan Bangash was declared the runner-up.
Zubair Ali was leading during the polling on Dec19 as well, but due to some acts of violence in six polling stations the result was withheld and re-polling was ordered for Sunday.
After voting on Dec 19, the Election Commission of Pakistan had released final consolidated results of 46 of the 65 tehsil councils where polling was held for post of mayor/chairman, showing that the JUI-F had won 18 seats, followed by PTI and Awami National Party with nine and six seats, respectively.
Independent candidates had won in seven of the tehsil councils, with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz securing three seats and Pakistan Peoples Party, JI and TIP winning one seat each.
Polling in the first phase of local government elections was held in 65 of the 66 tehsil councils of 17 districts while election for the Dera City council was postponed due to death of a candidate.
In all, re-polling and fresh polling were held in 568 polling stations across 13 districts of the province on Sunday.
Polling could not take place for mayor of Dera Ismail Khan’s city council and for several village and neighbourhood councils in five other districts, including Charsadda, Mardan, Kohat, Lakki Marwat and Bajaur, due to the death of candidates. Fresh voting was held at 331 polling stations in these districts.
Re-polling was held in 237 polling stations in Peshawar, Nowshera, Khyber, Mohmand, Karak, Bannu and Buner districts as polling in these districts was earlier suspended after incidents of violence and vandalism.
A total of 1,122 polling booths were established across the 13 districts. A total of 379,322 people, including 172,939 women, exercised their right to vote in the polls.
In the provincial capital, re-polling was held peacefully at seven polling stations out of which voting took place at six polling stations for the slot of mayor of Peshawar city and one in Pishtakhara tehsil.
A rush was seen at both male and female polling stations in Gulbahar area of Peshawar, where long queues of voters formed in the morning. However, with the passage of time, the number of voters reduced.
Considerable enthusiasm was seen among the workers of political parties that had established their camps outside the polling stations.
Sufficient police personnel were deployed both inside and outside the polling stations to avert any untoward incident.
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja praised the polling staff and security personnel for managing to maintain peace during the electoral exercise in different districts of the province, according to a statement.
He said that polling was held peacefully in all sensitive areas with the support of law enforcement agencies.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2022