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HomeNationalPTI takes lead in LG polls as AJK votes after 31 years

PTI takes lead in LG polls as AJK votes after 31 years

Party secures 17 of 41 seats in Muzaffarabad, 7 of 15 seats in Hattian Bala, 10 of 18 seats in Neelum Valley

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) clinched victory on at least 33 union council seats during the first phase of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) local government (LG) polls held on Sunday, according to unofficial results.

The LG elections, held in the region after 31 years, concluded peacefully in three districts of Muzaffarabad division for electing a total of 595 councilors of district and union councils, municipal corporations, municipal committees and town committees.

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According to unofficial results, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clinched the first position in Muzaffarabad with 17 of 41 seats, followed by the PTI with 16 seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured two seats, Muslim Conference three and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP) one seat. Moreover, two seats were won by independent candidates,

Over in Jhelum Valley (Hattian Bala), the PTI grabbed seven of 15 union councils, and was followed by the PPP with three seats and the PML-N with two seats. Two seats won by independent candidates. Of the 18 UCs of Neelum Valley, the PTI secured 10 seats, and was followed by the PML-N with five and the PPP with three seats.

A total of 2,716 candidates, including 900 independent candidates, were in the contest for 595 seats in Muzaffarabad, Neelum Valley and Hattian Bala districts. In second phase, polling will be conducted in four districts of Poonch Division on December 3. Polling in the first phase continued from 8am to 5pm without any interval and long queues of voters were witnessed at polling stations, showing much interest of the people in the elections.

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According to the election commission, a total of 695,049 voters – including 320,747 female voters – exercised their right to vote. According to Muzaffarabad Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Irfan Masood Kashfi, 4,500 police personnel were deployed at polling stations, while Quick Response Force personnel were on standby in every sector under the supervision of DSP-ranked officers.

The army was also put on standby to control any untoward situation, but the process was peacefully concluded and no incident was reported from anywhere until the polling concluded. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Abdul Rasheed Sulehria along with senior member of the commission Raja Farooq Niaz also visited different polling stations in Muzaffarabad city and expressed satisfaction over the polling process.

The CEC said they had received no major complaint of any irregularity in the polling process or any attempt of rigging from anywhere and overall polling process was transparent and peaceful.

He said district administrations, police, returning officers and polling staff had played an important role in conducting peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections, and their performance was appreciable.

He expressed the optimism that the first phase of polling was a precedent for the coming phases and polling during the second and third phases would also be conducted peacefully.

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