PESHAWAR: With the PTI-backed candidates winning most seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, former prime minister Imran Khan’s party is understood to be considering many senior leaders for nomination for the chief minister’s office.

Among them are former federal minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, Speaker of the provincial assembly Mushtaq Ghani, and brothers Akbar Ayub and Arshad Ayub of Haripur.

An MPA-elect told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the CM would be named by PTI chief Imran Khan and the party’s core committee.

“Imran Khan made Usman Buzdar and Mahmood Khan chief ministers [in Punjab and KP respectively] though little was known about them and they had no administrative experience.

Most PA seats won by candidates backed by Tehreek-i-Insaf

The party can repeat that here,” he said.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has released the provisional consolidated election results showing that PTI supporters grabbed 85 out of 112 general seats in the provincial assembly.

The house has 115 general seats but the ECP withheld election results for PK-90 Kohat constituency and postponed elections in PK-91 Kohat and PK-22 Bajaur constituencies due to the death of candidates.

According to election results, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam won seven seats, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, five, Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians four, Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan three, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-Parliamentarians two and Awami National Party one. Five winners contested elections as independents without the support of the PTI.

“We will form the next government in KP after winning 85 seats,” PTI Peshawar district president Sher Ali Arbab told Dawn.

Asked whether the party will form the government with the help of independents or those MPAs-elect will join any party, he said both options were under consideration.

He also said the PTI was in contact with some parties for the purpose to grab seats reserved for women and non-Muslims in the house.

“We may form the government on the basis of the seats grabbed by our loyalists,” he said.

The PTI can claim a large share in 30 reserved seats, including 26 for women and four for non-Muslims, if independents supported by it joined some political party with presence in the house.

The PTI has no representation in the assembly as it lost the election symbol “bat” over controversial internal polls.

Sources in the PTI told Dawn that the party leadership had yet not decided about the nominee for the next chief minister.

They said the matter would be taken up by the PTI’s Central Executive Committee in its meeting to be convened soon.

The sources said PTI founder Imran Khan’s directives for the CM’s nomination would come under discussion in the meeting.

A PTI leader told Dawn that the PTI could secure most of the reserved seats if its loyalists joined a political party in the house.

He said better strength in the assembly would better the party in the forthcoming presidential and Senate elections a great deal.

The PTI leader said former minister Mohammad Atif Khan, former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and former minister Shahram Khan Tarakai could have been the main contenders for the CM’s office but they’re not in the running as they’re given election tickets for the National Assembly seats only.

He said former finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra could have been a favourite for the slot but he was out of the race because of losing his provincial assembly bid.

“Currently, PTI provincial president Ali Amin Khan Gandapur is the main contender for the CM office. Also in the running are Akbar Ayub and Arshad Ayub, brothers from Haripur, who are senior party leaders among the relatively inexperienced lot of independents elected to the assembly. The Ayubs are the cousins of PTI general secretary Omar Ayub Khan,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

X post facto
Updated 19 Apr, 2024

X post facto

Our decision-makers should realise the harm they are causing.
Insufficient inquiry
19 Apr, 2024

Insufficient inquiry

UNLESS the state is honest about the mistakes its functionaries have made, we will be doomed to repeat our follies....
Melting glaciers
19 Apr, 2024

Melting glaciers

AFTER several rain-related deaths in KP in recent days, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority has sprung into...
IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...