Independents wins 6, Imran Khan’s party 5 seats in provincial polls in northwest Pakistan

Independents wins 6, Imran Khan's party 5 seats in provincial polls in northwest Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Independent candidates secured six seats while the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf party managed to win in five constituencies in first-ever provincial elections in the Pakistan’s former semi-autonomous tribal region, bordering Afghanistan, that was once a stronghold of militant groups like the Taliban and al-Qaeda, officials said on Sunday.

Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where the first-ever provincial elections were held on Saturday, comprises seven districts and was merged with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in May 2018 after a constitutional amendment.

According to the results declared by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), independent candidates won six seats while ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf followed with five seats.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) won three seats while Awami National Party and Jamaat-e-Islami so far won one seat each, the poll body said.

Earlier, Nadeem Qasim, a spokesman of the ECP, said that it might take a day before the official results were compiled and announced.

The law set aside 24 seats in the provincial assembly for the former FATA region. However, due to administrative reasons elections on those seats were not held with the general polls held in the country in July last year.

After putting in place the necessary legal and logistic wherewithal, the Election ECP went ahead to hold the election on the 16 general seats.

Another four seats are reserved for women and one for non-Muslims and these seats will be awarded to the political parties on the basis of their share in 16 contested seats.

A total of 1,897 polling stations were set up, including separate poling facilities for men and women. The ECP data showed that 285 candidates were contesting for 16 general seats.

The ECP said that out of 2.80 million voters, 1.67 million are men and 1.13 million women.

Poling was held in peaceful environment as foolproof security measures were taken and government deployed 34,497 security personnel from army, police and Paramilitary Frontier Corps, Levies and Khasadar Force.

The tribal region was once known as stronghold of militants from Al-Qaeda and other groups but the rebels were killed or expelled by the army in successful military operations.

Pakistan, after a series of reforms, has also abolished the colonial era draconian Frontier Crime Regulations law, which prescribed collective punishments for the entire tribes even for minor misdemeanours. PTI

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