PESHAWAR - Leading the overall result of Local Bodies’ polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf secured 46 seats, 18 of district councils and 28 of tehsil councils, as per unofficial results.

Its arch rival ANP and JUI-F were on second and third position with 18 and 14 seats (of district and tehsil councils) respectively, till filing of this report.

Reports were still coming from upper and lower parts of the province, where PTI was leading on most of the seats, though at a number of places ANP candidates were closely following PTI contesters.

In Mardan, ANP secured five union council seats – UC Koi Baramawal, UC Baghdada, UC Bejlighar, UC Mayar and UC Shamozi. PTI has so far secured victory on six union councils in district Mardan while counting for other union and tehsil council seats continues.

In district Buner neck to neck contest was observed where five union council slots were secured by PTI while ANP had secured six seats till filing of this report. In Swat also, PTI and ANP remained the main contesters with PTI in the lead overall.

PTI secured four seats in Kohat, two each in Karak and Batgram, and three in Dera Ismail Khan. The result of other union councils and district councils was still being awaited. Jamaat-e-Islami was on forth position overall with 20 seats, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on fifth with 15 seats and independent candidates got 14 seats, while Pakistan People Party could get 12 seats, as per the incomplete unofficial results.

Election on several village councils and neighborhood councils were postponed due to firing incidents and clashes. The election commission will announce final result on June 7.

Meanwhile, at least eight persons were killed and 29 others injured in firing incidents and clashes among political rivals at various polling stations across the province in the local government elections while mismanagement and indiscipline was witnessed in different parts of Peshawar. The firing incidents and skirmishes mostly occurred among the activists of Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in various union councils in the Peshawar city. In these incidents 13 persons, including three women, were injured and shifted to hospitals where their condition was stated to be stable.

Owing to firing incidents and clashes among political rivals in several union councils of district Peshawar, polling was stopped for a long time, due to which a large number of male and female voters returned home without exercising their right to vote. The district administration called security forces when the situation became critical at various polling stations.

A wave of enthusiasm among the people, especially youth having affiliation with various political parties, was observed in most of the union councils of the city. But due to untrained election staff and complications in the polling process, voters had to face difficulties.

Polling was suspended time and again at several polling stations of Peshawar. Despite imposition of Section 144 in Peshawar, political parties’ workers and leaders were openly carrying arms of even prohibited bores.

In Landi Arbab Village Council, soon after the polling process got momentum, situation turned grim owing to a clash between the workers of Awami National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. As a result, polling was stopped for a while. Similarly, in union council-5, Hasan Garhi, female workers of PTI, JI and supporters of independent candidates exchanged harsh words and situation turned violent when male supports of these parties also started using kicks and punches against one another. As a result, three persons were injured and the voting process at the said female polling station remained suspended for two hours, which resumed after the arrival of the police contingent that controlled the situation.

Likewise, three women were injured in a firing incident in Nasapa area of Khazana Union Council in district Peshawar. Polling staff at this women polling station was besieged and a presiding officer manhandled. The district administration called the security forces that took control of the area.

In the Terai Bala area, workers of political parties opened fire at one another, injuring two persons. Polling also remained suspended here for about an hour.

Voters of UC Kakshal, Govt Higher Secondary School No 4, staged protest against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for sending ballot papers without symbols of some of the candidates.

At women polling stations of UC Bhana Mari, political rivals accused each other of committing rigging, attacked the polling stations and broke ballot boxes. It was also reported that a female presiding officer was slapped by a political activist in UC-36, Punjab University Campus, while minorities complained that Muslim voters did not poll even a single vote for minority candidates. Similarly, in UC Hazarkhwani, bogus stamps were found at a female polling station.

In Union Council Hayatabad, UC Nauthia, GHSS No 3, Asia Gate, Rasheed Garhi and Yakatoot, polling at male and female polling stations was suspended after rigging complaints from rival groups. In Union Council Kakshal supporters of independent candidates exchanged harsh words and opened fire at each other in which three persons were injured.

Interestingly, police deployed at various polling stations did not take notice of violence and clashes among the workers of political parties. They also failed to lodge FIRs or arrest anyone.  Police arrested the brother of an independent candidate for the slot of general councillor in UC Asia Gate and recovered 40 bogus ballot papers from him. An FIR was lodged against him and he was sent behind bars. Another person, pretending to be an officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), was arrested by the police.

ECP LAUDS PERFORMANCE OF POLLING, SECURITY STAFF

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) expressed satisfaction over conclusion of elections and appreciated the overall performance of polling staff, law enforcers for conducting local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to a press release issued in Islamabad, the ECP has felicitated the voters of the province especially females, who came out of their homes to exercise their right of franchise.

The ECP vowed to take action against the complaints of corrupt practices, etc in the elections as per law.  Over 80,000 police personnel and 35 companies of army performed duties to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls. A total number of 84,420 candidates were contesting elections for 41,762 seats. As many as 11,211 polling stations with 31,059 polling booths were setup across the province.

The polling stations were manned by 135,447 polling personnel. The training of the staff was completed before the conduct of the poll.  A total of 70 million ballot papers were printed at PCP presses Islamabad and Lahore.