Pakistan News

Returning officers notified for elections in tribal districts

Returning officers notified for elections in tribal districts

PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday notified district returning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs) for general elections in the tribal districts to fill 21 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for which schedule is likely to be announced by end of April.

The ECP issued three notifications through which the officers were appointed for the 16 general seats and five reserved seats including four for women and one for non-Muslims.

According to one of the notifications, the provincial election commissioner has been appointed as returning officer for the five reserved seats.

Through another notification, eight officers have been appointed as DROs for the 16 general seats. These include: Peshawar regional election commissioner (REC) Fazle Hakeem for three provincial assembly constituencies of Bajaur (PK-100, 101 and 102); Mardan REC Mohammad Naeem for two constituencies of Mohmand tribal district (PK-103 and 104); Hazara REC Sardar Jehanzeb for three constituencies of Khyber (PK-105, 106 and 107); KP director local government elections, Raham Khan, for two constituencies of Kurram (PK-108 and 109); a director of tribal districts Mohammad Farid for PK-110 Orakzai district; Kohat REC Abdul Qayyum Shinwar for two constituencies of North Waziristan (PK-111 and 112); Dera Ismail Khan REC Tariq Khan for two seats of South Waziristan (PK-113 and PK-114); and Mansehra district election commissioner Aziz Bahadar for the constituency of six former frontier regions (PK-115).

Polls to be held to fill 21 seats of provincial assembly

Similarly, through the third notification 16 officers mostly district election officers have been notified as returning officers and 36 officers as assistant returning officers for the 16 general seats.

A total of 2.691 million voters including 1.617 men and 1.074 women in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) will exercise their right to vote.

A press release of the commission states that no changes could be made in the electoral rolls for former Fata once the ECP announces the election schedule and till that time a voter could transfer his vote to any other area or include his or her name in the electoral rolls by approaching the concerned district election office.

The 16 general seats will be filled through direct elections and the five reserved seats will be filled through proportional representation of number of general seats won by a political party for which every party has to submit its priority list of candidates.

Under the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Act, 2018, through which the tribal districts were merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, general elections for the 21 provincial assembly seats allocated to erstwhile Fata shall be held within a year of the general elections, which were held on July 25, 2018.

The highest number of voters (522,480) is registered in Bajaur tribal district including 308,104 (59 per cent) male and 214,376 (41 per cent) female voters. Khyber tribal district is having second highest number of voters (519,290) including 294 228 (57 per cent) male and 225062 (43 per cent) female voters.

A total of 376,635 voters are registered in South Waziristan having 231,831 (62 per cent) male and 144,804 (38 per cent) female voters; 352,794 voters are registered in Kurram tribal district including 20,0621 (57 per cent) male and 152173 (43 per cent) female voters; 294,820 voters in North Waziristan including 204,546 (69 per cent) male and 90,274 (31 per cent) female voters; 271,251 voters are registered in Mohmand tribal district with 170,279 (63 per cent) male and 100,972 (37 per cent) female voters; and, 192,633 voters in Orakzai district including 108,649 (56 per cent) men and 83,984 (44 per cent) women voters.

The six former frontier regions collectively have 161,992 votes including 98,894 (61.04 per cent) male and 63,098 (38.95 per cent) female voters.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019

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