Thursday Aug 16, 2018
PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Mehmood Khan was elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on Thursday.
The PTI nominee defeated Mian Nisar Gul of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal as he secured 77 votes. The MMA nominee received 33 votes during balloting at the KP Assembly.
Mehmood was a surprise entrant in the KP CM race and was recommended by former provincial chief minister Pervaiz Khattak for the post.
Addressing the KP Assembly after being elected to the post, Mehmood vowed to not "break the trust of the people".
"We will fulfill the promises we have made and will strengthen institutions," he added.
The newly-appointed provincial chief minister further said, "I am ready for re-counting of votes in my constituency."
The 46-year-old has previously held the portfolio of sports, culture and irrigation in the province. He was also given the portfolio of K-P home minister, but was later removed from the post.
Mehmood, who is the PTI Malakand Division president, was elected member of the provincial assembly from PK-9, Swat in the 2013 and 2018 general elections.
Born in Matta Tehsil of Swat in 1972, Mehmood received his early education from Government Primary School Matta and completed his matriculation from Peshawar Public School. He did his masters in agriculture from the Agriculture University of Peshawar.
For one, he would have a smoother sailing than that of his predecessor. The PTI has emerged victorious in the province with a heavier mandate than last time. It won 66 general seats, compared to 30 in 2013. A 2/3 majority means less reliance on coalition partners such as the Jamaat-e-Islami or the Qaumi Watan Party. Another plus for the Swat resident would be that he has the strong backing of PTI heavyweights, Khattak and Jahangir Tareen. It would thus be difficult for another lobby to break their hold.
Also, since Mehmood is considered close to the former chief minister, there is a perception that Khattak will eventually be pulling the strings of the province.
That said, there will be several challenges for the new chief minister. Provincial assembly polls are due in the tribal belt next year, which would happen under his watch. And since now that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas are merged into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Mehmood will be the first chief minister to have to deal with the judicial and infrastructural needs of an area bordering Afghanistan.