Saturday January 22, 2022

LG polls in Peshawar: No seat adjustment as political parties prefer solo flight

December 09, 2021

PESHAWAR: The political parties particularly the opposition have failed to make seat adjustment for mayor and tehsil councils offices in Peshawar district and other parts where the local bodies elections are being held on December 19.

Almost all political parties have fielded candidates for the mayor’s office of Peshawar metropolitan and six tehsil councils in the districts where thousands of party-based and independent candidates are also in the run for village council and neighbourhood councils elections.

Even the component parties of six-parties opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) including Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have not agreed on their joint candidate for the Peshawar mayor and preferred solo flight for the high-level and low-level post in the district government.

There are some independent candidates for the mayor and different tehsil councils in Peshawar district, most of them dissidents of their respective parties who did not secure a party ticket for the elections.

Local bodies elections would be held in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including three merged districts (former Fata) including Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber districts on December 19. As the election date is drawing nearer the political parties and independent candidates have expedited their election campaign and almost all the roads, streets and bazaars in Peshawar city have been littered with party flags, banners, posters and billboards.

In some areas, the candidates have violated code of conduct and election rules set by the Election Commission of Pakistan by displaying huge billboards and posters in the city.

The Pakistan People’s Party has fielded Arbab Zarak Khan, grandson of former chief minister Arbab Jehangir and son of former federal minister Arbab Alamgir Khalil, for the post of Peshawar Mayor.

The ticket was initially awarded to former provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi but at the eleventh hour, the PPP nominated Arbab Zarak, whose mother Asma Alamgir was provincial information secretary of the party.

The PPP has nominated candidates for tehsil councils in the provincial metropolis.

The Awami National Party has fielded candidates for mayor and six tehsil councils in Peshawar district.

As the nationalist party advocated for party-based elections at tehsil and union council level, therefore it fielded candidates for village councils and neighbourhood councils on its election symbol.

Haji Sher Rehman will contest on the ANP ticket for the mayor of Peshawar metropolitan city.

Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl has awarded ticket to Zubair Ali, son of former Senator and former district Nazim Haji Ghulam Ali, for the mayoral office and awarded tickets to its strong candidates for tehsil councils offices.

The JUIF also enjoys the support of Qaumi Watan Party for the mayor office in Peshawar district.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-s-Insaf has fielded Rizwan Khan Bangash as candidate for Peshawar mayor while also awarded tickets for six tehsil councils offices in the district. However, the party had faced internal differences after allotment of party tickets and now the party candidates will face their own men as independent at tehsil level.

The PTI did not find time to field candidates with party symbols at village councils and neighbourhood councils in the province where the elections will be held on December 19.

The Jamaat-e-Islami has fielded Bahrullah Khan Advocate for Peshawar mayor office and fielded candidates for all tehsil councils in the district.

The JI has also fielded candidates for village council and neighbourhood councils for the local government polls.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has fielded Nek Zadha Khan as its candidates for Peshawar mayor, however, the party failed to field candidates in all tehsil council of Peshawar district.