Provincial polls: PTI forms board for nominating candidates

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has formed a three-member committee for nominating candidates for the upcoming provincial assembly elections in the tribal districts.

According to a statement issued by party’s Central Media Department, Minister for Religious Affairs Allama Noorul Haq Qadri held a meeting with the party’s chief organiser Saifullah Niazi and central secretary general Arshad Dad at the party’s central secretariat in Islamabad on Monday. During the meeting, a three-member parliamentary board was set-up for nominating candidates for the provincial polls in the tribal district. The election board include Noorul Haq Qadri, Arshad Dad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan.

The meeting also discussed preparations for the public meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Jamrud, Khyber tribal district. The party’s organisation structure and activities in the tribal districts also came under discussion. The meeting also discussed the administrative challenges faced by the people of tribal areas.

Elections on 16 provincial assembly seats in the tribal districts are expected to be held before June, 2019. The election will take place for the very first time on the newly created 16 seats of the provincial assembly (PK 100 to PK 115) in tribal districts that merged into the province in wake of 25th Constitutional Amendment. The merger of erstwhile Fata with KP has increased the strength of total general seats in the provincial legislature from 99 to 115.

All the mainstream and local parties have accelerated preparations for the provincial polls in KP. Some of the parties have also announced their candidates on different tribal seats. The parties are also seeking early elections in order to ensure representation of provincial constituencies of the tribal districts in the KP Assembly.

The Awami National Party (ANP) leader Sardar Hussain Babak also addressed a press conference in Khyber tribal district on Monday in which he expressed concern over delay in the polls. He said that despite nine months of merger, the tribal people are still deprived of its benefits.

The ANP leader questioned the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the delay in the elections. Talking about the delimitation of the constituencies in tribal districts, Babak said there are a number of loopholes in the delimitations and census process. He has demanded that seat allocations for the tribal areas should be increased as per their population.