Unofficial results show PPP in the lead in LG polls in Karachi


Karachi, MAY 8: Unofficial results on Monday of by-elections held on 63 local body seats in five divisions of Sindh showed the PPP emerging victorious in Karachi.

According to Radio Pakistan, the PPP emerged as the single largest party in the by-polls. Quoting unofficial results, the report said that the PPP bagged seven out of the 11 union committees in Karachi while the remaining four went to the Jamat-e-Islami (JI).

“Similarly, [the PPP] won two out of four union councils in Hyderabad and bagged a majority in all the districts where elections were held,” the report added.

PPP leader Murtaza Wahab congratulated the party leadership and supporters on their victory, noting that “Karachiites have once again expressed full confidence” in the party.

In a statement, he assured citizens that the PPP’s elected representatives would work tirelessly to solve the problems faced by the people.

“Thank you my dear Karachi for rejecting politics of hate, divide and protests and for choosing Bilawal’s narrative of working together in a cohesive manner,” he said separately on Twitter, adding that the party would not let the people of the metropolis down.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed his appreciation to the people of Karachi for their support that led to the party’s victory in the LG polls.

“It is a historic achievement that all district chairmen, including Karachi and Hyderabad, are from our party,” he said in a statement shared by the PPP on Twitter.

He emphasised that the achievement came with an increased responsibility on the part of the party’s chairmen to serve the people without any discrimination.

Bilawal directed the elected representatives of the party to involve every street and neighborhood in the development process. He urged them to continue working tirelessly to serve the people and set new standards of public service.

Polling sees low turnout
Polling for the local government by-election in 11 union committees of Karachi was held on Sunday but was marred by low turnout, clashes and scuffles between workers of main contesting parties and allegations of rigging mainly against the PPP.

The polling began at 8am and continued till 5pm in a largely peaceful manner with sporadic incidents of violence and recriminations of rigging by political parties.

The turnout remained low at the start of the day, with more voters coming out of their homes as the polling neared conclusion. However, the electoral process failed to attract a large number of voters by the end of the official timing of voting.

There were some complaints of delay in starting of voting at some polling stations, but the timing of casting votes was not extended at any of the facilities.

With a total 6,707 policemen deployed for security duty, the situation turned tense at several polling stations where workers mainly from the three contesting parties — PPP, JI and PTI — accused each other of rigging and violence.

In Central district’s UC-4 and UC-13 of New Karachi, the situation turned tense during the early hours of the day when workers of both the JI and the PTI gathered outside one of the polling stations and accused activists of the rival PPP of “capturing” the facility even before start of the voting process.

The tension grew in the day when former MNA of PTI Aslam Khan claimed to have seized a number of ballot papers from “PPP workers” showing votes in favour of the ruling party. The general secretary of the PTI Karachi chapter, Arsalan Taj Ghumman, took to Twitter and shared footage of “fake votes” seized by the former MNA.

Although there was no official word from police, the PTI claimed to have handed over the “PPP worker” to police allegedly involved in rigging.

In Shah Faisal Colony, clashes erupted between workers of two contesting parties after voting was over leaving at least six people injured.

A JI spokesman claimed that all six injured were party activists, who had been attacked by workers of the rival parties for stopping from ‘post-voting rigging’.

The city chief of JI, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, alleged that the PPP used government machinery and police for rigging. In his tweet, he mentioned UCs in Orangi Town, New Karachi and Korangi where the workers of the ruling party were roaming freely defying law and carrying out rigging to change the results in PPP’s favour.

“In eight out of 11 UCs, our party is leading the count, but the PPP is using government machinery and in connivance with the polling staff is changing the results. The ECP and law-enforcement agencies have become silent spectators,” he said while addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-i-Haq after the polling time was over and the vote count was underway.