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PESHAWAR: Following the grabbing coveted seat of Mayor by Jamiat Ulma Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in Kohat district and Awami National Party won Mardan Mayor’s seat, ample are then chances of JUI-F to bag the slot in Peshawar.

In what is being interpreted as an upset for the PTI, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) candidate Zubair Ali has taken the lead over the ruling party for the Peshawar mayoral slot on Monday.

In the ongoing counting of votes JUI-F candidate Zubair Ali is believed to be most likely to beat Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Rizwan Khan Bangash.

Opposition parties have a combined lead over the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the first local government elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since the merger of tribal districts, according to unofficial results.

According to unofficial and undeclared results, the candidate for city Peshawar Mayor of Jamiate Ulema Islam (JUI) Haji Muhammad Zubair Ali is leading with 62,388 votes with PTI’s Rizwan Bangash in trails with 50,659 votes. Peshawar’s mayorship is the most coveted and at least 17 candidates competed for this position.

In the 64 tehsil councils unofficial results obtained so far, the JUI-F has emerged victorious in 10 tehsil councils while the PTI has won in 9.

The ANP and independent candidates have won in five seats each from the tehsil councils while PML-N has won in only one tehsil council seat so far.

Unofficial results further confirm that the Jamaat-e-Islami has won a single seat in the tehsil council elections as well.

In Bannu, JUI-F candidate Irfanullah Durrani has extended a lead over a PTI candidate for the mayor election. Irfanullah has so far polled 37,458 votes while the PTI candidate, Iqbal Khan Jadoon, has bagged 23,867 votes.

The PTI has tasted defeat in the Mardan, Kohat and Nowshera tehsils. For the Mardan city mayor election, the Awami National Party’s (ANP) Himayat Ullah Mayar has defeated the PTI’s candidate to emerge the victor, as per unofficial results.

The JUI-F’s Sher Zaman has also won the mayor city council seat in Kohat.

In Nowshera, the PTI seems to be heading towards another upset defeat as the ANP’s candidate Ghayyur Ali Khan seems to have won the election, as per unofficial results. He polled 27,532 votes while PTI’s Ashfaq Ahmed polled 27,268 votes to finish second.

On the other hand, the PTI has managed to win four out of six tehsils of Buner district. A PTI candidate has the lead in Buner’s Khudu Khel district as well while the JUI-F has extended its lead in all three tehsils of Charsadda.

The Tehreek-e-Islahat Pakistan has taken a lead in District Khyber while the PTI’s Ataullah Khan has been elected chairman tehsil council in District Swabi.

Meanwhile, JUI-F candidates are leading in District Mardan’s Takht Bai Tehsil, Katlang Tehsil and Rustam Tehsil.

The ANP has a lead over its rivals in Mardan’s Tehsil Garhi Kapura, on the other hand.

As per unofficial results, the PTI’s Naveed Ahmad Mohmand has been elected the chairman of the tehsil council Lower Mohmand after securing 7,931 votes.

JUI-F’s Hafiz Rasheed Ahmad trailed behind the PTI candidate, polling 7,285 votes.

Meanwhile, ANP’s Arbab Muhammad Omar Khan has been elected as the chairman of Chamakni’s tehsil council - as per unofficial results - after polling 24,415 votes, with the PTI’s Nabi Gul securing 20,398 votes to finish second.

JUI-F’s Hamza Asif Khan has been elected chairman of the Shab-e-Qadar Tehsil council after securing 33,244 votes while PTI’s Shahidullah Khan came in second, polling 14,616 votes.

JUI-F’s Faridullah has won the tehsil council seat in Mathra, as per unofficial results while the PTI’s Hafeez ur Rehman emerged as the victor on the Hassan Khel Tehsil council chairman seat.

The JUI-F’s candidates are leading in Pashtakhra tehsil council chairman and Shah Alam Tehsil council chairman seats. In the Badaber Tehsil council chairman seat, the ANP candidate has taken the lead over other opponents so far.

The PTI is ahead on 15 seats followed by JUI-F (13), ANP (9), PML-N (2), the PPP and the JI one each — which totals up to 26 seats for the opposition parties as per unofficial and unverified results. Meanwhile, independent candidates are in lead on 13 seats.

The first phase of local government polls, marked by scattered incidents of violence and attacks that claimed five lives and damaged some polling stations, was held on Sunday in 66 tehsils of 17 districts after a gap of six years.

The polling process in three tehsils located in Swabi, Bannu and Darra Adam Khel was postponed on Sunday due to disturbances, including a suicide blast in Bajaur, abduction of polling staff in Bannu, a clash in Karak and a mob attack on Minister Shibli Faraz’s vehicle in Kohat.

In Peshawar, according to initial, unofficial results by Sunday evening, JUI-F candidates were in lead in three of the seven councils, whereas the PTI and the ANP were ahead in two tehsils each.

Similarly, the JUI-F appears to grab the coveted posts of mayor in Kohat and Peshawar however, it will be verified after the confirmation of the results from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

In all, 12.668 million voters — seven million male and five and a half million female were registered for the polls in the 17 KP districts namely Buner, Bajaur, Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Tank, Haripur, Khyber, Mohmand, Mardan, Charsadda, Hangu and Lakki Marwat.

Of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas, local government elections were held for the first time in Khyber, Mohmand and Bajaur districts.

In Khyber, the newly formed Tehreek-i-Islahat Pakistan party was leading in Landi Kotal and Jamrud tehsil, while JUI-F was ahead of its rivals in tehsil Bara, according to unofficial results.

In Bajaur, JUI-F and JI were leading in Khar and Nawagai tehsils, respectively. In Mamund tehsil of Bajaur, a suicide attack on a vehicle taking voters to a polling station left two ANP workers dead and five others wounded, District Police Officer Abdul Samad Khan had said.

Also, the JUI-F was leading in Upper Mohmand and Khaweezai tehsils whereas ANP was in the lead in the lower Mohmand tehsil.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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