ANALYSIS: Will real ‘tabdeeli’ come about after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s local elections?
The complete results of the LB polls have not been declared, but unofficial results clearly shows PTI ‘s strong positions in district councils in Peshawar, Haripur, Battagram, Mardan, Malakand, Kohat, Karak and D.I. Khan.
Of the 24 districts, PTI emerging on top by leading with more than 150 seats in at least 10 of the districts.
Surprising is the ANP’s comeback in its home districts, especially after humiliating exit in the general elections of 2013. Once considered its home turf, ANP recovered some of its lost strongholds in Mardan, Swabi and Charsadda. ANP bagged 23 of the 56 district seats in Swabi, leaving behind its opponents – PTI and Awami Jamhoori Ittehaad Pakistan – who secured half a dozen seats each. Let’s not forget that the ANP had not secured even a single seat from Swabi in 2013 polls.
In the same manner, ANP reclaimed its lost position in Charsadda where it got 13 of the 48 seats. In the last elections, the Asfandyar Wali-led party had suffered a drubbing in the district.
Surprising was the PTI result in Mardan, where it currently has six MPAs of the total eight. But it got only 23 seats out of total 75. While ANP secured 22 there.
Similarly Jamaat-i-Islami emerged on top in Upper and Lower Dir, while Abbottabad, Shangla and Mansehra districts stood out as PML-N strongholds.
The JUI-F, which accused PTI of rigging, saw good response of masses in its favour in Lakki Marwat, Hangu, Bannu and Chitral.
Irrespective of party positions and holding of local bodies elections in the province, some questions still remain unanswered, with confusion over smooth running of local government affairs being on top.
It remains uncertain whether the provincial government will extend all-out cooperation to those who have local government powers devolved to them at grass-root level.
In addition, issue of funds for development and other uplift projects to local bodies remains debatable.
Will the newly-installed local government setup consisting of village, tehsil and district council system work up to its efficiency and for resolution of public issues?
The PPP, JI and PML-N hurled rigging accusations at the PTI, thus further compounding the situation. Huge turnout of voters in the LB polls reflected interest of masses in electing their representatives.
Consequently the elected leaders also owe responsibility to resolve public issues in lieu of persisting with the political blame game.