Independents, PTI win big in K-P tribal district election

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced unofficial results for the first-ever provincial elections held in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) recently merged tribal districts.

Out of the total 16 K-P Assembly seats, independent candidates secured six while the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won five seats.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) bagged three seats, and the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) both secured one seat each.

PTI’s Anwarzeb Khan bagged 12,951 votes was victorious in PK-100 (Bajaur-I) constituency with JI’s Waheed Gul coming in second with 11,775 votes.

Another PTI candidate Ajmal Khan bagged PK-101 (Bajaur-II) seat with 12,194 votes, with JI’s Sahibzada Haroon Rashid securing second position with 10,468 votes.

JI’s Sirajuddin Khan secured the highest number of votes – 19,088 – in PK-102 (Bajaur-III) with PTI’s Hafizur Rehman came second with 13,436 votes.

In PK-103 (Mohmand-I), ANP’s Muhammad Nisar Ahmed secured victory with a total of 11,247 votes while PTI’s Rahim Shah could manage to bag 9,669 votes in second place.

The official results confirmed that independents Abbasur Rehman, Shafiq Afridi and Bilawal Afridi have won PK-104 (Mohmand-II), PK-105 (Khyber-I) and PK-106 (Khyber-II) with 11,751, 19,733, 12,814 votes, respectively.

The runner-up in PK-104 (Mohmand-II) was JUI-F’s Muhammad Arif with 9,801 votes, whereas Shermat Khan, an independent candidate, secured the second position in PK-105 (Khyber-I) with 10,745 votes. Similarly, Independent candidate Khansher Afridi secured second position with 6,297 votes in PK-106.

Another independent candidate Muhammad Shafiq bagged PK-107 (Khyber-III) with 9,796 votes, with Hameed Jan Afridi coming in second with 8,428 votes.

JUI-F’s Muhammad Riaz won the PK-108 (Kurram-I) constituency with 11,948 votes, while Jamil Khan, an independent candidate, was placed second with 11,517 votes.

PTI’s Syed Iqbal Mian was victorious in PK-109 (Kurram-II) with a total of 39,536 votes. Inayat Ali, an independent candidate, secured the second position with 22,975 votes.

Independent candidate Ghazi Ghazan Jamal secured victory in PK-110 (Orakzai) with 18,448 votes, while PTI’s Shoaib Hassan was second with 14,699 votes.

PTI’s Muhammad Iqbal Khan won the PK-111 (North Waziristan-I) seat by securing 10,200 votes, while JUI-F’s Samiuddin came in second with 9,288 votes.

Independent candidate Mir Kalam Khan bagged the PK-112 (North Waziristan-II) seat by securing 12,057 votes while JUI-F’s Siddiqullah came second with 7,978 votes.

In PK-113 (South Waziristan-I), JUI-F’s Hafiz Aisamuddin won the poll by securing 10,356 votes, beating Waheed Khan, an independent candidate who bagged 9,679 votes.

PTI’s Nasirullah Khan was victorious in PK-114 (South Waziristan-II) with 11,114 votes, while independent candidate Muhammad Arif was second with 10,272 votes.

JUI-F’s Muhammad Shoaib has bagged the PK-115 constituency with a total of 18,102 votes. PTI’s Abdul Rehman was the runner-up with 18,028 votes.

Districts of erstwhile Fata, now called tribal districts, were merged with K-P last year after the passage of the 25th Constitutional Amendment. Sixteen provincial assembly seats were carved out of the area where the election was held on Saturday amid heightened security.

The elections in the merged districts concluded more or less peacefully amid high security ensured by Pakistan Army, police, Levies Force and Khasadar.

Security forces were stationed in and outside highly sensitive polling stations, while paramilitary personnel were stationed for observations and body searching. Female security personnel were also deployed at women polling stations.

The ECP  had installed security cameras at most polling stations.

The polling process in the tribal district started at around 8am and continued till 5pm mostly without any interruption. A few scuffles among supporters of various political parties, independent candidates and polling agents were reported in some constituencies in Khyber, Mohmand, and North and South Waziristan tribal districts.

The voting process was also halted in these constituencies during the scuffles.

This was the first provincial assembly election in the tribal districts, which witnessed an unusual enthusiasm among people – young, old, women and disabled – who were seen in queues outside the polling stations long before polling started at 8am.

The ECP had directed the polling staff and returning officers to allow people, who were inside the polling stations to cast their votes even after 5pm. At some polling stations, voters were allowed to cast their votes till 6pm.

Under the ECP rules, the independent candidates are bound to join a political party within three days after notification of their victory; otherwise, they are considered independent MPAs and notified as such. The winning candidates will have to declare their assets to the ECP.

A total of 21 seats – sixteen general seats, four women (reserved seats) and a minority seat – from the merged tribal districts will be added to the existing body of lawmakers at the K-P Assembly.

These newly-elected tribal lawmakers would take part in the legislation for the districts as well as the K-P’s settled districts, but would not be able to take part in any move to remove the K-P chief minister.