The Election Commission has announced the by-elections for the vacant seat of Mathra Tehsil Chairman, following the untimely death of Faridullah from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in Peshawar. A total of 216,000 voters are expected to cast their votes in the tehsil.
Six candidates have been listed by the Election Commissioner for the by-elections scheduled on August 6. The nominations include Iftikhar Ahmed from Jamaat-e-Islami, Inamullah Khan from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Rafiullah Alizai from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Uzair Ghaffar Khan from Awami National Party, Ali Abbas Khan from Pakistan Peoples Party, and Fazlullah from Pakistan Muslim League (N).
In the previous 2021 by-election results, Faridullah secured victory with 22,000 votes, with Jamaat-e-Islami’s Iftikhar Ahmed coming in second with 15,800 votes. The nominated candidate of the Pakistan People’s Party, Ali Abbas Khan, secured 9,600 votes, while the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf stood fourth.
The Election Commission data reveals the establishment of 155 polling stations in Mathra for the by-elections, with 116 thousand male and 91 thousand female voters among the registered voters in the Tehsil.
Iftikhar Ahmed, Jamaat-e-Islami’s recent nominee, expressed confidence in their party’s strong voter base in the Peshawar area, indicating a likely contest between Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf workers have been actively conducting corner meetings and rallies. PTI candidate Inamullah Khan is hopeful of securing the chairman’s seat, citing his previous work as deputy speaker and taking credit for development initiatives in the area over the last four years.
Political journalist Fida Adeel views the Mathra Tehsil by-election as a crucial test for all political parties, especially Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and PTI. PTI’s performance will be closely observed since they are re-entering the election field after the May 9 incidents. The results will shape the future direction of the parties.
Adeel further notes that JUI is also facing internal divisions, but the real contest appears to be between JUI and PTI. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf must prove its continuing popularity as a party.
It is worth mentioning that the Mathra Tehsil seat fell vacant on March 18 this year following the tragic demise of Faridullah, the elected chairman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.