PESHAWAR: A total of 31,545 candidates are running for tehsil mayors and chairmen and village and neighbourhood council members in 18 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Lower and Upper Chitral, as their nomination papers for the second phase of local body elections on March 31 have been accepted by the returning officers.
The nomination papers of 1,201 candidates were rejected for not meeting the criteria, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
According to the ECP, 32,746 candidates had filed nomination papers with the returning officers to contest elections for the seats of mayor/chairman of city and tehsil councils and different seats of village and neighbourhood councils including general seats, youths, peasants, women and non-Muslims.
In the second phase, the local body elections will be held in 65 city and tehsil councils and 1,830 village and neighbourhood councils in 18 districts of the province.
A total of 7.99 million people will use their right to vote in the next phase of local body elections.
The first phase of local body elections was held in 17 districts on Dec 19, 2021.
Similarly, re-polling and fresh polls of the first phase was held on Feb 13 in 13 districts of the province.
Fresh council polls were held due to the death of a candidate, while re-polling took place in the councils, where voting was stopped due to violence on the polling day.
The districts, where local body elections will be held in the second phase, include 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.
According to the ECP data, 873 candidates had filed nomination papers to contest elections for the seats of the city and tehsil council mayors and chairmen. The returning officers accepted 861 of those papers and rejected 12 on different grounds.
Similarly, 15,235 candidates filed nomination papers for contesting elections on general seats of village and neighbourhood councils. Of them, those of 14,795 were accepted and 440 rejected.
For the seats reserved for women in village and neighbourhood councils, 3,423 people filed nomination papers. A total of 3,284 of them were accepted and 139 rejected.
The returning officers also accepted 6,870 nomination papers for the seats of peasants and workers among 7,050 nomination papers and rejected 180.
For the youth seats, 6,041 candidates filed nomination papers. Of those papers, 5,644 were accepted and 419 rejected.
For the seats reserved for non-Muslims, 124 candidates had filed nomination papers. Of those papers, 113 were accepted and 11 rejected.
According to the ECP’s schedule issued on Feb 9, the returning officers issued public notices on Feb 10 inviting nomination papers for the second phase of local body elections.
The candidates submitted nomination papers to the returning officers from Feb 14 to Feb 18.
The returning officers published the names of nominated candidates on Feb 19, while scrutiny of nomination papers took place from Feb 21 to Feb 23.
Appeals against the acceptance and rejection of those nominations were filed from Feb 24 to Feb 26, whereas the relevant appellate tribunal will decide those appeals until March 1.
The returning officers will publish the revised list of candidates on March 2, while the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers by the candidates and publication of the revised lists of candidates will be on March 3.
The returning officers will allot election symbols to candidates on March 4. The polling will be held on March 31, while the election results will be consolidated on April 4.