Sunday June 11, 2023

Karachi witnesses lowest turnout in recent history

July 31, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In the elections 2018, the mega city of Karachi which has surprised many with 14 out of 21 seats for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have witnessed one of the lowest voter turnouts in recent history of general elections.

An analysis of the statistics released by the Election Commission of Pakistan revealed that the average turnout remained of 40 percent in the mega city as opposed to 55 percent turnout witnessed during the 2013 elections.

Interestingly, the highest voter turnout in the constituencies won by Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) while the lowest turnout was witnessed in the areas where PTI won. Three PTI winning candidates obtained less than 10 percent of the registered votes in their respective constituencies. Even PTI stalwart Muhammad Faisal Vawda who had beaten PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in NA-249 with a thin margin of 718 votes, could only obtain 10.6 percent of the total registered votes of the constituency. Vawda won the seat with 35,344 votes out of 331,430 votes registered in the constituency,

In NA-241, Korangi 3 where PTI candidate Faheem Khan won, the turnout was only 36.2, the lowest among all Karachi constituencies. Out of total 314,450 votes PTI candidate only bagged 26,714 votes which are only 8.5 percent of the total registered votes of the constituency.

Similarly in NA-250 won by PTI’s Ataullah, the turnout was 37.4 percent but the winning candidate only obtained 9 percent of the total votes. Ataullah was winner with 36,060 votes out of total constituency’s 400,675 votes.

PTI chief Imran Khan came up with the best results among his party candidates in Karachi by obtaining 22.74 percent votes in NA-243 where he won with 91,358 votes. The turnout in his constituency was 41.1 percent.

In NA-246, PTI’s Abdul Shakoor Shad won with only 9.8 percent of the total votes. He obtained 52,750 votes out of 536,688 registered votes. Turnout in his constituency remained 39.58 percent.

The turnout was the highest i.e. 50.4 percent in NA-236 where PPPP’s Jam Abdul Karim won the seat. He obtained 28 percent of the total 233,028 votes. PPPP’s Syed Rafiullah was winner in NA-238 where the turnout was second highest (44 percent) in Karachi. However Rafi also obtained only 12 percent of the total votes with 29,598 out of 234,616 votes. Over all on 11 Karachi seats the turnout was less than 40 percent.

However women turnout remained even lower in Karachi constituencies with lowest in NA-250 with 27.1 percent. PTI’s Ataullah was winner in this constituency. In three constituencies of Karachi women turnout remained less than 30 percent.

Under the Elections Act 2017, the ECP can cancel the elections in any constituency where female turnout is less than 10 percent.

“If the turnout of woman voters is less than ten percent of the total votes polled in a constituency, the Commission may presume that the woman voters have been restrained through an agreement from casting their votes and may declare, polling at one or more polling stations or election in the whole constituency, void,” reads section 9 of the elections Act 2017.