Pakistan mayoral elections: majority of ruling party candidates win

A majority of candidates backed by Pakistan's ruling party won election Thursday as district and town mayors in the third and final phase of municipal balloting held under tight security, a Cabinet minister said.

Thousands of councilors, chosen in a two-phase election process in August, voted to fill mayoral seats in the country's 108 districts, with 426 candidates running for district mayors and 388 others for town mayors.

Hours after the vote, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said a majority of the candidates supported by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party had won.

Paramilitary troops were deployed at polling stations, and there were no reports of violence, said Kanwar Mohammed Dilshad, a senior election official. More than 50 people were killed in fighting among rival factions during the elections to choose the councilors.

Municipal elections are held every four years to choose councilors and mayors, who look after the welfare of communities, including supervision of schools, clinics and roads. A mayor, or nazim, is the top elected administrator of a district. AM

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