Islamabad - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) yesterday challenged election results of seven union councils (UCs) before the returning officers amid some confusion about the exact results of the first ever local government election in Islamabad.

“We have challenged the election results of seven union councils before respective returning officers ans asked for vote recount,” an office-bearer of PTI central media department said.

Though the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will today officially notify the elections results of 50 union councils in rural and urban areas of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the election results have already become controversial due to allegations of rigging from the PTI.

The PTI’s decision to challenge the elections results of seven UCs is important because it not yet clear which party - either PML-N or PTI - would get the coveted post of mayor of Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation.

The office-bearer of PTI’s media department said that the election results of UC # 13 (Humak), UC # 20 (Ali Pur), UC # 22 (Chak Shehzad), UC # 30 (sector G-7/3-4), UC # 34 (Sector G-9/1,3 & 4), UC # 39 (Mera Sumbal Jafar) and UC # 42 (I-10/1 & 4) have been challenged. He said that the election results had been challenged on different grounds including late announcement of results and some contradictions in the vote counting etc. “We understand that some irregularities were committed during the vote counting process to benefit the candidates other than those of PTI,” he said.

In all these UCs, either independents or PML-N backed candidates have won the elections.

While there are allegations of rigging from PTI in the first ever local government elections of the capital, each party has contradictory election results in hand.

According to unofficial results gathered from different sources by The Nation, Pakistan Muslim League-N has the lead with 19 seats of chairmen/vice chairmen out of 50 UCs while PTI is behind it with a difference of only two seats and has 17 seats. The independents have got 13 seats while one seat is on tie.

Contradictory to the elections results of chairmen and vice chairmen of UCs, the PTI has taken a lead in the elections of councillors on general seats and councillors on reserved seats including women, peasants, youth members etc. Unofficial results say that PTI candidates won 387 seats of councillors and reserved seats, PML-N only 153 and independents secured 74 seats.

It is crystal clear that independents would play an important role in the election of mayor and both the parties have started lobbying to get the support of independents. On one side, PTI claims that it would participate in the mayor election while on the other the PML-N says that it has the required strength to win this slot as some independents are with it.

Haji Nawaz Khokar of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) claims that he has a group of independent candidates with eight to nine members and his group would play an important role in the mayor election.

In a separate development, Chairman PTI Imran Khan has appointed Aown Chaudhry as his political secretary and the party’ central secretariat has formally issued a notification of his appointment.