Candidates speed up campaign for Feb 8 elections in Mardan

Mardan  -   Almost all political parties and independent candidates are intensifying their efforts for the upcoming general election on February 8 in the Mardan district. Anticipated tough battles are on the horizon, with various parties contending in three national and eight provincial constituencies.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Mardan district has a total of 1,538,078 registered voters, including 696,382 females and 841,696 males. The Election Commissioner has designated 1,055 polling stations, comprising 353 male, 319 female, and 383 combined. For the three National Assembly seats, 42 candidates, including two women, are vying for victory.

Simultaneously, 105 candidates, including 3 women, compete for the eight provincial assembly seats. The Awami National Party (ANP) has initiated its campaign, but internal party differences at the village, neighbourhood, and union council levels are causing hurdles for ANP candidates in various constituencies.

Haider Hoti, the central vice president of the ANP, leads the party currently but lacks control over the party organization in the district compared to his late father, Azam Khan Hoti. These internal differences may lead to the loss of seats for some of the party’s strong candidates.

Haider Hoti is contesting elections on NA 22- Mardan-2 and provincial constituency PK-58. The differences within the party began after intra- party elections, affecting the party’s unity on various levels.

Influential local party leaders at the village council, neighbourhood council, and union council levels are reportedly electing their favourites, causing divisions within the party. Despite these issues, the party leadership has not addressed the concerns of disgruntled workers, leading to further divisions.

As the general election approaches, these internal differences are becoming more serious, with party workers in different union councils leaning towards candidates from other parties. The political atmosphere in the Mardan district favours the ANP, but internal strife may jeopardize the chances of their strong candidates in the upcoming election.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt