The second phase of the local government (LG) elections in the remaining 18 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is currently underway. Results of the KP LG will determine whether or not the ruling PTI is still popular in the region.
According to details, the polling began at 8 am this morning and will continue uninterrupted till 5 pm. Furthermore, ECP data shows that around 8 million voters will exercise their right to vote. Meanwhile, a total of 28 000 candidates are in the run for different categories.
The elections will take place in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Torghar, Upper and Lower Kohistan, Kolai-Palas, Swat, Malakand, Shangla, Lower and Upper Dir, Upper and Lower Chitral, Kurram, Orakzai, and North and South Waziristan districts.
Tribal districts of Kurram, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan will also take part in elections for the first time.
In addition, the authorities have taken strict security measures. Last year’s first phase of elections reported several incidents of violence at polling stations. Therefore, more than 54,000 officials have been deployed for security including police and Frontier Constabulary troops.
We extend our sincere wishes to the administration of all the (tribal) districts who are part of these historic elections. May it conclude safely and change the situation for the better.#LGElections https://t.co/m8eDKxqNuo
— PMS Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (@pms_kp) March 30, 2022
LG elections to show popularity of PTI
During the first phase of LG elections, JUI-F had emerged as a leading party with 23 seats of tehsil chairpersons and three mayoral seats. Meanwhile, PTI had stood second with only one mayoral seat and 18 seats of tehsil chairpersons.
The setback came as a surprise because KP is usually PTI’s stronghold. Important to note, currently, the PTI government is going through a tough time as PM Khan faces the no-confidence motion.
At first, things seemed in favor of PM Khan. However, after MQM’s decision to go with the Opposition, fears racked up that PM Khan lost the majority.
Read more: MQM joins hands with the opposition
On the other hand, PTI continues to rake in huge public support. Ever since the no-confidence motion, the majority of the population has backed up PM Khan. During the campaigns prior to the KP LG polls, thousands attended PTI rallies.
— Farid Malik (@StaunchInsafi) March 30, 2022
However, the election result will determine whether PTI remains popular among the public or not. PTI lost the majority during the first phase despite positive signs that it would clean sweep the polls. If PTI loses again, then it will be a huge blow for PM Khan who said he will personally take charge of preparations for the second phase of the LG polls. It remains to be seen whether KP will continue to support PTI or is ready for new leaders.