PTI candidate wins Swat by-election

Published June 27, 2022
— APP/File
— APP/File

SWAT: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Haji Fazal Maula won the by-election for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seat PK-7 by defeating Awami National Party’s (ANP) contestant Hussain Ahmad.

Mr Maula secured 18,042 votes and Mr Ahmad 14,665 votes, according to unofficial results.

The seat fell vacant after the demise of ANP MPA Waqar Ahmad Khan on April 30.

The polling began at 8am and continued till 5pm without any break and was held in a peaceful manner as no unpleasant incident occurred anywhere in the constituency.

However, the turnout of voters remained very low as it was recorded about 17 per cent.

17pc turnout of voters recorded; ANP protests ‘rigged election’

Four candidates — Haji Fazal Maula of the PTI, Hussain Ahmad Khan of ANP, Daulat Khan of the Tehreek-i-Inqilab Political Move­ment and independent Mohammad Ali Shah — were in the run.

However, a tough contest was expected between the PTI and ANP candidates because all mainstream political parties, except the PTI, supported the ANP candidate by deciding not to contest the election due to the sacrifices of the deceased’s family during the insurgency period 2007-09.

A total of 124 polling stations — 30 for men, 28 for women and 66 for both male and female voters — were established for the by-election. Of them, 41 were declared sensitive and 12 highly sensitive.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the constituency has 183,308 registered voters — 102,088 men and 81,220 women.

In the 2008 general elections, ANP’s late Waqar Ahmed had won the seat. In the 2013 and 2018 elections, PTI’s Dr Amjad Ali defeated Waqar Ahmed though the former had to vacate it later for being declared successful on two seats. Subsequently, in the by-election, ANP’s Waqar Ahmad won the seat with the support of opposition parties.

However, the seat fell vacant last month after Waqar Ahmed died of a heart attack. The ANP then fielded his uncle Hussain Ahmed Khan aka Khan Nawab in the by-election.

After the Sunday defeat, ANP workers staged a sit-in at Kabul Chowk and a protest demonstration outside the office of Returning Officer (RO). They chan­ted slogans against the KP government and the RO.

The protesters said the ANP workers were not given Form-45 at some polling stations and they would not accept the ‘rigged election’ under any circumstances. Later, a heavy contingent of police arrived at the site and took control of the situation.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2022

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