NA-29 now known as NA-3 Swat is an important seat for all parties considered. Historically no party has had continuous success here. Mostly independent candidates have won. In 2008 ANP won the seat and in 2013 PTI bagged the constituency. In these elections, the competition is tough again as Salim Rehman faces Shehbaz Sharif. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and JUI-F withdrew their candidates in favor of PML-N. Muqabala Sakht hai.

Shehbaz Sharif

Party – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)

Highest Office Held – CM of Punjab and President of N League

Things You Need to Know

Now younger Sharif brother needs no introduction. He has been Chief Minister of Punjab thrice. The success of Nawaz is attributed to his younger brother’s control over Punjab. With Punjab under Shehbaz’s policies, Nawaz was able to focus on federal matters. Punjab is considered the power source of PML-N. This time around, being the president of the party, he is not only contesting elections from Punjab abut also Karachi and Swat.

Shehbaz has been in public service for decades and is famous for playing the mediating role in state matters. But with increasing responsibility and pressure, younger Sharif seems to be struggling more because now he needs victory beyond Punjab.

Salim Rehman

Party – Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)

Highest Office Held – Member of National Assembly

Things You Need to Know

Salim Rehman born in Swat contested elections in 2002 and 2008 unsuccessfully. Previously, like his father, he was a member of PPP but in 2013 he contested the NA-30 seat for PTI and won. His father already had won the stated seat. Salim might not be as known as Shehbaz, but he is popular among locals. In 2013 for NA-30 he won by 49,976 votes, leaving the PML-N candidate far behind.

This time around he is contesting elections from old NA-3 (previously NA-29), where he lost in the 2008 elections.

Who has a greater chance? 

The electoral race in Swat district became important when PML-N decided to field its president Shehbaz Sharif from NA 3 against former MNA Salim Rehman. Looking at the statistics Shehbaz is a heavyweight candidate here as he has more experience and a bigger legacy. When PTI won the seat in 2013 the MNA didn’t focus much on the area and locals say that people from PML-N have done most of the progressive work there. Because Shehbaz has done a lot in Lahore, people in Swat hope that maybe new MNA will bring them closer to progress too. This will be a tough call because infrastructure and public service have always helped Shehbaz win elections. But again, the same concern prevails that like the previous PTI MNA, Murad Saeed who stayed in Islamabad most of the term, people worry that Shehbaz would be too focused on Lahore. The independent candidate Hujjatullah is also extremely popular in the area.

Given PTI didn’t fulfill its promises to voters, they are reluctant to vote for PTI again. The posters of Shehbaz Sharif “Our Prime Minister” are making rounds in the area. PML-N has never won a seat here. So, let’s see if PML-N get its first victory or will PTI again take the lead or will an independent candidate bag the seat again.

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