Peshawar cantonment board poll surprises
Political forces always learn from the people’s verdict. There were 11 cantonment boards in KP. In the Peshawar cantonment board, one seat each went to PTI, ANP and to an independent candidate. The general turnout of voters was recorded as very low. According to the Provincial Election Commission, the number of registered voters in the Peshawar cantonment board is 28,033. Out of these, only 10,237 voters used their right to franchise. This constitutes 36.5 percent of the registered voters. In Ward Five, there are 2,903 registered voters. Out of these, only 795 persons managed to come out of homes. In disappointment over the unexpected results, the PTI workers started disappearing. The party’s camps outside the polling booths wore a deserted look. The local leaders felt embarrassed over the defeat. They raised questions about the suitability of the candidates. They also raised questions about the parliamentary board, which recommended the candidates. On social media, the PTI supporters posted their assessments. They said that the poll setback was due to inflation, high prices and unpopular decisions by the party. Some of the party spokespersons said that PTI’s real contest was not with ANP or PPP, but with the independent candidates. At the same time, some other party leaders offered a different consolation. They said that better performance of the independent candidates was in a way PTI’s victory because ‘both were like-minded’. The recent result also indicated the likely future trend of the voters in the forthcoming local body polls. Therefore, PTI may have to enter the electoral arena with a revised new strategy. When compared with PTI, the performance of the otherwise ideologically stronger ANP was no less shocking.