JI retains PK-95 seat after close contest with ANP


TIMERGARA: Following an initial vote-count, Izazul Mulk Afkari of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Thursday emerged victorious in by-election of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seat PK-95 defeating Awami National Party’s (ANP) candidate Haji Bahadur Khan.

According to unofficial and unverified results of 85 polling stations in Lower Dir, Afkari bagged 18,798 votes while his competitor Haji Bahadur managed to secure 16,822 votes.

Women were reportedly barred from casting votes at all polling stations of the provincial constituency.

The by-poll largely remained peaceful. However, six supporters belonging to JI and ANP were injured in sporadic minor clashes throughout the day.

JI chief Sirajul Haq vacated the seat when he contested and won election for a seat in the Senate.

Political observers expected a tough contest between JI and ANP candidates. Afkari is the Lower Dir president for JI and has been a student leader. He is relatively young and active as a party loyalist.

Bahadur Khan of ANP, on the other hand, is a former MPA who had become estranged from the party for some time.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers wanted to put up their own candidate but the party leadership decided to support the nominee of its ally, JI, which is part of the coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The election commission had established 179 polling booths for the 86,926 registered male voters and 85 booths for the 53,817 female voters in the constituency. Around 2,300 policemen would perform duty on the polling day.

The ANP workers had said that they would ask their female supporters to poll their votes if female voters of the JI cast votes. The observers were of the view that the by-election would have a strong impact on the local government elections being held on May 30.

Source:: Geo News