Independents win 40 out of 72 seats in KP LG by-polls

Javed Aziz Khan
Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

PESHAWAR: Independent candidates won 40 of the 72 different seats in by-election for village councils (VCs) and neighborhood councils (NCs) in 21 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which were held amid tight security on Sunday.

As per the provisional results released on Monday, the independent candidates remained successful on 40 slots while all the political parties together could win only 32 seats.

Among the political parties, candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf won 14 slots in different parts of the province, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal contenders got six seats, Jamaat-e-Islami grabbed five, Awami National Party won four, Pakistan People›s Party got two and Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan won one seat.

Some analysts termed it an anger expressed by the voters against the political parties for their failure to address the basic issues of the country during their respective rules.

However, in many constituencies the options were limited as mostly independents were in the run. Also, there is a trend that a large number of people normally vote the LG polls for community and individuals close to them instead of parties in.

The Sunday contest was for the smallest units of the Local Government system that had fallen vacant in the last almost two years.

Apart from general seats, votes were also polled for the categories of Youth, Women and Peasant councillor seats in the VCs and NCs.

As many as 256 polling stations had been set up for over 385,000 voters in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the election.

Out of these 159 polling stations were declared the most sensitive and 84 were declared sensitive. The polling was held in 65 NCs and VCs in 21 districts. These included six in Peshawar, seven in Dera Ismail Khan, nine in Mardan and five each in Bannu and Charsadda and other districts.

In some VCs and NCs, the by-polls were held for more than one slot. As per the provisional results in Peshawar, Inayatullah of JUIF received 1004 votes while Khan Wali of Pakistan PTI bagged 658 votes for the general councillor seat in VC Regi, Yousafkhel Peshawar. In Nodeh Bala NC-125 Peshawar, Kashifur Rehman of the PTI got 810 votes while an independent, Muhammad Ismail, was runner-up with 709 votes for the general seat.

In Maroofzai, Badaber, Asad Ahmad of ANP secured 936 votes while Rafiullah of the PTI got 552.

In Garhi Fazl Khaliq, Badaber, Niaz Muhammad of the PTI won the general seat with 352 votes against his namesake from ANP who got 246 votes. In Garhi Banat IV, Badaber, an independent, Zeeshan, won the seat for the youth councilor. Amjad Khan of PTI won the youth councilor slot in Garhi Banat-1 Badaber against Saqib of ANP.