QUETTA: With the election on 612 seats reserved for labourers and peasants, the third phase of local government elections was completed in Balochistan on Wednesday in a peaceful manner amid heavy security.
Balochistan is the only province in the country which has complied with a Supreme Court order regarding local bodies elections.
Of the 1,486 seats reserved for labourers and peasants, candidates on 769 had already been elected unopposed while 105 seats are vacant because no nomination paper was filed in Awaran and parts of Turbat and Panjgur.
Tough competition was witnessed on six seats in the Quetta Metropolitan Corporation and eight in the Quetta District Council where the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and All Parties Democratic Alliance (APDA) comprising the PML-N, both factions of the JUI, PPP, ANP and Hazara Democratic Party were in the run.
Both panels have strong candidates for the top slots of the corporation and council.
The PML-N and PkMAP, coalition partners in the provincial government, are fighting for the post of mayor and district council chairman.
According to unofficial results, the PkMAP and APDA have won three seats each in the Quetta Metropolitan Corporation and four seats each in the District Council.
Dr Kalimullah, Jamshed Dotani and Yousaf Khan of the PkMAP and Nadir Ali, Faiz Lehri and Yahya Khan Nasar of the APDA have won the elections.
Observers believe that both Kalimullah Khan and Yahya Khan Nasar could be candidates for the post of Quetta mayor.
Provincial Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayizeed said that polling was held throughout the province peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
Heavy contingents of police and other security forces were deployed at 338 polling stations.
Later addressing a press conference, APDA leaders Wahid Agha, Rasheed Nasir, Aslam Rind and Raza Wakeel demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold elections for the offices of mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and deputy chairman of all local bodies’ institutions immediately.
< Dawn >