KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party has secured an overwhelming victory in the local government by-elections in various districts of Sindh, including that of Karachi.
Out of 15 general members seats where by-polls were also held in different wards of the city, seven were won by the PPP candidates, five by JI candidates, two by PTI, and one by the candidate of PMLN as per the unofficial results available with The News till the filing of this report.
The LG elections were held on 63 local bodies seats in five divisions of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Ghotki, and Khairpur amid reports of a few incidents of violence. The polling began at 8 am and continued until 5 pm without a break. According to the police, the situation in New Karachi’s Rasheedabad UC-13 Ward 1, Bihar Colony and UC-2 was normal following minor incidents.
In the case of Karachi, a Jamaat-e-Islami candidate secured victory in the UC No 6 of North Nazimabad in District Central. Its candidate Faisal Naseem secured 4,055 votes. The runner-up candidate of the PPPP, Abid Shahid, secured 1,169 votes. The PTI’s candidate Muhammad Aameen secured the third position with 1,027 votes.
In UC-2 Orangi District West in Karachi, Noorul Islam of JI secured victory with 4,778 votes. PPP’s candidate Muhammad Aleem remained the runner-up with 3,571 votes. In UC-1 of Orangi in District West, Muhammad Amir of PPP secured victory with 2,935 votes. PTI’s candidate Shakeel Ahmed remained the runner-up with 2,925 votes. In UC-8 Mominabad of District West, PPP’s candidate Arshad Khan secured victory with 2,664 votes. PTI’s Shair Hussain stood second by securing 1,380 votes. In UC-8 Landhi in District Korangi, Muhammad Ayub Abbasi of JI stood first with 1,695 votes while Asim Khan of PTI stood second with 826 votes.
Following a disturbance in Bihar Colony, Sindh MPA Abdur Rasheed staged a protest. “I was [verbally] abused at the gate when I came out of the polling station. I had gone inside the polling station after showing my card and handing over my mobile phone to the officials,” he said.
Besides Karachi, elections were also held in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Ghotki, and Khairpur. Elections in these areas could not be held on the seats due to multiple reasons, including the death of some candidates. The ECP established 147 polling stations in 17 districts for the by-polls where personnel of the Sindh Police performed security duties.
The PPP clinched two out of the five LG seats in Hyderabad as per the unofficial and unconfirmed results. PTI and an independent candidate won one seat each in the city. The result of one UC was to be announced.
In Hyderabad, elections were held in 17 districts of the four divisions for a total number of 38 seats of chairmen and vice-chairmen, district council and general members. In the Sukkur Division, voters exercised their right to vote to elect one chairman and vice chairman and one general member, one UC chairman and vice chairman and one general member in the Ghotki district and two general members in the Khairpur district.
In the Nawabshah Division, a by-election was held for one seat of chairman and vice-chairman of UC Naushahro Feroze, one seat of general member in Shaheed Benazirabad and one seat of general member in Sanghar. Also in the Larkana Division, elections were held for one general member each in Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Kashmore districts.
In Karachi, the provincial Election Commissioner Sindh Ejaz Anwar Chohan visited UC-6 in North Nazimabad and said polling was held in a peaceful atmosphere. “The atmosphere was disturbed at the polling station in Rasheedabad, but now everything is normal,” he said.
Chohan added that a couple of incidents took place and action will be taken against those involved. The ECP official in Sindh also informed about issuing forms 11 and 12 to all presiding officers. Speaking with Geo News/The News the ECP official said the Inspector General Police Sindh also increased the police force deployment to 8,000.
Meanwhile, the polling was stopped at polling station numbers 1, 3, 5, and 6 of Hyderabad’s UC 119 due to an incident of ballot paper snatching, the ECP spokesperson said. He said that the Election Commission had sought a report from the returning officer, and directed strict action against those involved.
Speaking at an urgently called press conference late on Sunday night, PPP Karachi President Saeed Ghani also said the People’s Party’s candidates had secured success in the by-polls in five union committees in Karachi. He alleged that the Jamaat-e-Islami had spent donations collected on religious grounds to run the election campaign. He said the PPP’s candidates had secured a victory on the basis of the Sindh government’s public service to develop Karachi. Ghani advised JI to accept the election results instead of rendering the election process controversial. He alleged that JI’s supporters had been involved in thrashing and injuring PPP activists during the by-polls. Ghani said the next mayor of Karachi would belong to the PPP.
Addressing a press conference, Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman claimed that the JI had won eight of the 11 union committees (UCs) of Karachi in the by-polls with a comfortable margin, but the state machinery was being brazenly used to change the results in favour of the PPP. He said the JI would not accept forged results and put up resistance against the theft of its mandate. He said the PPP mobs attacked the JI camps, opened fire and manhandled party workers, adding at least seven JI workers were hospitalised in injured condition.
The polling officers at a school in ward one of UC 13, New Karachi Town, sealed the ballot boxes before time and without showing them to polling agents, the JI leader said, adding that the same saga was repeated in another school of the same UC, whereas the PPP workers were found working there. He accused the Presiding Officer Khurrum Lakhu of collaborating with police officials at UC 13 of New Karachi Town to deny entry to JI polling agents. Presiding Officer Kamran Raza at a school in the same UC, facilitated the PPP goons in casting bogus votes despite protests, he charged. Rehman said that at polling station number 38, the presiding officer was Zaffar Muawia, in place of the ECP appointee Muhammad Shahid. In UC 6 of North Nazimabad, ballot papers were issued without signatures and stamps at polling station number 30, he said. PPP leader Shahzaib Satti and others attacked the JI’s camp in UC 3 of the same town but no action was taken.
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