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October 24, 2019

Reserved seats for women in KP Assembly


October 24, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday notified Ayesha Bibi of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Baserat Khan of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) as members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the reserved seats for women from the newly-merged districts.

Based on the number of general seats in Khyber Pahktunkhwa Assembly won by political parties in the July 20 polls in the tribal districts, two of the four women reserved seats were allocated to the PTI and one each to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and BAP.

As the PTI had earlier given the name of only one candidate, Aneeta Mahsud and BAP had not submitted any priority list of its nominees, two women reserved seats remained vacant for which a fresh election schedule was issued by the ECP.

The ECP allocated one seat each to the PTI and BAP, directing the two parties to produce their priority lists of candidates. Ayesha Bibi from Mohmand district was the top PTI candidate in the list, followed by Wafa Wazir and Mehreen Rauf Afridi.

A bench of the Peshawar High Court recently declared the nomination papers of Ayesha Bibi as valid.

Her papers were earlier rejected by an election appellate tribunal.

The division bench comprising Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim allowed the writ petition of Ayesha Bibi against the order of the election appellate tribunal, which had ruled that the petitioner cannot contest election for the seat as she was not a voter in any of the recently merged tribal districts.

The tribunal had accepted the appeal of another PTI candidate, Mehreen Rauf Afridi against Ayesha Bibi.

The appellate tribunal had set aside the order of the relevant returning officer to accept nomination papers of Ayesha Bibi.

“Ayesha Bibi had registered her vote on August 16, 2019 so the claim of the opponents that she was not a registered voter at the time of submission of her nomination papers proved false,” council

for Ayesha Bibi, Taimur Ali Mohmand, told The News.

He added that Ayesha Bibi belongs to a political family as she is granddaughter of former lawmaker Haji Dilawar Khan Mohmand, niece of Mohammad Ali Khan Mohmand and cousin of ex-MPA Babar Ali Khan Mohmand.

He argued that she is a permanent resident of Mohmand district since her birth and does not live in Mardan as claimed by her opponents.

The litigation for the PTI’s reserved seat between three party candidates, Ayesha Bibi. Wafa Wazir and Mehreen Rauf Afridi, had become a matter of concern and some embarrassment for the PTI.