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July 22, 2019

PPP, QWP fail to win any seat in tribal polls

Peshawar

July 22, 2019

PESHAWAR: Two major political parties, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), failed to win even a single seat in the first-ever elections in tribal districts for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The PPP and QWP had fielded 13 and three candidates, respectively. The central and provincial leaders of both parties had addressed public meetings.

The PPP candidate on PK-100, Bajaur, Hazoor Khan secured 3131 votes, Mohammad Anees on PK-101, Bajaur, got 5920 votes, and Saeedur Rehman on PK-102, Bajaur, received 1,244 votes.

On PK-103, Mohmand, Mohammad Arshad received 6,303, Israel got 2,071 votes on PK-104, Mohammad Nadim on PK-105 got 2,239 votes, Shah Khalid on PK-106 got 689 votes and Suhail Ahmad on PK-107 could achieve only 56 votes.

PPP’s Kurram Arif Hussain received 1191 votes on PK-108 and Javedullah on PK-109, Kurram, obtained only 174.

Shaban Ali from PK-110, Orakzai clinched 2,204 votes, Najeebullah on PK-113 received 1,776 votes and Imranullah on PK-114, South Waziristan bagged 1,051 votes.

The QWP candidates on PK-105, Khyber, Ali Rehman, got 1322 votes, Mustafa Khan on PK-103 received 1,066 votes and Atta Mir Khan on PK-113 achieved only 262 votes.

The PPP activists held the party’s provincial party chapter office-bearers and leadership responsible for their defeat and said both the central and provincial leaders could neither resolve the internal differences nor organised the party for elections.

After the defeat, the provincial office-bearers have no right to remain in offices, said one of the party dissidents, adding that the infuriated PPP workers were expressing reactions on the social media and cursing the leadership for fielding candidates.

Raham Bacha Sherpao held dismal performance of the leadership responsible for the defeat, saying the party should have contested elections with proper planning but that was not done.

He said that people were not happy with PTI government’s performance but PPP lost elections because it had no effective organisation.

Raham Bacha Sherpao said the central leadership should review the decisions and bring to the fore honest and effective leadership in the province.

This crushing defeat, he said, would affect PPP for long and the leaders should take notice of the situation.

PPP deputy information secretary Gohar Inqilabi accepted the defeat, saying there were no party organisations in the former tribal agencies, now tribal districts, and they were handed over the party one month before elections.

Earlier, the PPP was with the federal organisation. “We had two options - either to hold elections or not. We preferred to go with the previous party’s organizations. We decided to field candidates and got votes.

“We had apprised the party’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto of our candidates’ positions. One of our candidates in Mohmand, Arshad, got more than 6,000 votes and another in Bajaur received 4,000. We accept the PPP is not well organised in the region, but we will concentrate on improving our party in those districts. We have sought reports from our party and would conclude the report once we get reports from the party in the tribal districts,” he said.

QWP provincial chairman Sikandar Sherpao said they had reservations over the election process from the day one.

“The government used its influence as it had done in the general elections. The deployment of the army for only 16 constituencies had also raised questions on the role of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), he said.

The QWP leader said the ECP should have conducted elections through civil institutions. If there was a security issue, the army should have been deployed at the gates, he said and questioned the role of the army inside the polling stations.

“It seems as if the deployment of the army was a no-confidence in the provincial government and institutions,” he said, adding that it was a conspiracy against the political parties whose voice was silenced as Pakhtuns were marginalised in the general elections.

He said he was not satisfied with the process but still they were happy the people from those areas got representations and Fata merger process completed.

Despite all reservations, he demanded electoral reforms and re-elections in tribal districts.

He asked the government to honour commitments made with tribal including allocation of Rs100 billion and developmental work to end the sense of deprivation among people of those neglected areas.

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