The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took the lead in the first phase of the local government (LG) elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) held on Sunday and secured 94 seats each, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 85 seats of the 454 seats.

However, independent candidates, according to the results, won 157 seats.

The election commission announced the official results of 454 seats in district and union councils, municipal corporations, municipal committees, and town committees out of 669 seats as of Monday evening.

According to the results, the All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference (MC) secured 22 seats of the total, while the Jammu Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) could secure only one seat in the first phase of the elections.

Of 74 district council seats, results of 53 were announced, and PTI won 17, followed by 16 independents, while PPP secured nine, PML-N seven, Muslim Conference three and JKPP secured one seat.

Of a total of 535 seats in the union council, the results of 349 were announced, and independents won the majority, securing 131 seats, followed by the PPP, which obtained 75 seats, while PTI got 65, PML-N 60, MC 17, and Tehreek-e-Labbaik secured one seat.

The PML-N won the capital’s Municipal Corporation with 12 seats out of 36, followed by the PTI eight, the PPP and independents seven each, and the MC two seats.

Of the 10 municipal committees, results of seven were announced of which three were won by the PPP, while PTI and PML-N managed two seats each. Of 14 seats in four town committees, the results of nine seats were announced. The PML-N won four of them, followed by independents three and PTI two.

PM TANVEER PRAISES ADMINISTRATION: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan appreciated the peaceful conduct of the first phase of LG polls in AJK, Muzaffarabad Division, terming it a victory for democracy.

Addressing the media in the metropolis on Monday, the PM said: “I appreciate office bearers and workers of all the political parties who have played an important role in advancing politics and democracy.”

Lauding political leadership for demonstrating maturity, the PM said that despite less security, the poll process remained peaceful.

“It demonstrates the people’s and political leadership’s high level of political consciousness on the one hand, and the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s quality administration, capacity, and capability on the other,” he said.

While congratulating the victorious candidates of his ruling party, the PM said: “I congratulate the lion-hearted workers of Tehreek-e-Insaf for running a successful campaign during the local body elections.”

Referring to his party’s victory in the polls, he asserted: “It has been proved now that his party has become stronger due to its performance in Muzaffarabad.”

He expressed the hope that his ruling party would also show its performance in the second and third phases of the elections being held in Poonch and Mirpur divisions as well.

He said that PML-N President Shah Ghulam Qadir, former prime minister Raja Mohammad Farooq Haider, Opposition Leader Chaudhry Latif Akbar, People’s Party Member of the Legislative Assembly Mian Abdul Waheed, Syed Bazal Ali Naqvi, and Sardar Javed Ayub all faced defeat in their respective constituencies.

A key opposition leader’s defeat in the elections, he said, was a sign of his ruling party’s growing popularity and people’s trust in the party’s leadership. The PM said that he would live up to the expectations of the people of Azad Kashmir.

He said that for 31 years, the people of Azad Kashmir were deprived of their basic rights by the previous rulers. “They also tried to blackmail me on the municipal elections, but I did not compromise on the rights of the people”, he said.

The PM said that he was proud of Azad Kashmir’s civil administration and police for performing well and living up to the expectations. The premier also appreciated and praised the efforts of the Election Commission and the role of Pakistan Army in the local body elections.

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