PTI gets three more seats in AJKLA; strength rises to 29

Author: Agencies

The strength of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly has increased to 29 as the party won three women seats.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) secured one seat each, as all seats were declared elected unopposed by the Election Commission since other candidates withdrew their nomination papers. Polling on three other seats reserved one each for technocrat, ulema, mashaikh and overseas Kashmiris, will be conducted on Monday as more than one candidate are contesting for each category. It is expected that PTI will also win all three seats, which will take its strength to 32 in the assembly of 63.

Those who have been declared elected unopposed by the Election Commission after their opponent withdrew nomination include PTI’s Imtiaz Naseem, Sabeha Sadique, Kausar Taqdees Gilani, PPP’s Nabeela Ayoob and PML-N’s Nasaran Abbasi.

Earlier, four PPP candidates – Sadaf Shaikh, Shazia Akbar, Naureen Kazmi, Shaheen Kausar Dar – and one PTI candidate – Ambreen Turk – withdrew their nomination papers before given time after which all other five candidates were declared elected unopposed.

Three candidates who are in contest on one seat reserved for ulema, mashaikh include Sahibzada Fazal Rasool of PPP, Saleem Chishti of PML-N and Maulana Mazhar Saeed of PTI, and the last one is expected to win on the basis of party strength.

Three candidates contesting on a seat reserved for technocrat are Rafique Nayar, Zulfiqar Ali and Sardar Manzar Bashir, while three candidates on seat reserved for overseas Kashmiris are Mirza Tanveer Akhtar, Hafiz Tariq Mehmood and Muhammad Iqbal.

On July 29, PTI won the LA-16 Bagh 3 seat of the AJKLA, whose results were withheld for re-polling on four polling stations, after clashes brought polling to a halt on July 25. According to unofficial results, PTI candidate Sardar Mir Akbar bagged 23,561 votes, whereas PPP’s Sardar Qamaruz Zaman obtained 23,267 votes – a difference of a mere 294 votes.

Of the total 939 votes cast by government employees, PTI received 396, whereas PPP got 421.

In the polls on July 25, PTI emerged as the largest winner with 25 seats, PPP came in second place with 11, while PML-N won six seats. In the July 25 polling exercise, voting was held in 163 of 167 polling stations, in which the PTI candidate was already in the lead, receiving 22,503 votes, while the PPP candidate got 22,307. All four polling stations that were open for re-polling were declared by the district administration as highly sensitive owing to which stringent security arrangements had been made. This included the deployment of 400 police officers and commandos.

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