Amid rigging claims by political parties, especially the right wing Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), due to the tardy announcement of results in Karachi, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) appeared to be leading in the Hyderabad local government (LG) elections and, for the first time, could appoint its mayor in Sindh’s second-largest city, according to unofficial results.
Unofficial polling results of the second phase of Sindh’s local government elections – on the 1,200 seats in seven districts of Karachi division – could not be announced till the filing of this report. Unofficial results as they were announced were very limited, while all three main political parties – the PPP, the JI and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – claimed to have attained a majority. As per the unconfirmed results so far, no party had been able to secure a clear majority for the mayor’s crown.
A JI spokesperson claimed that his party bagged more than 100 seats, while saying that the PPP secured over 80 seats and the PTI just 50 seats in Karachi. There were some wards where members had won by leads of between 30 and 150 votes, as per unofficial results.
The PPP was ‘concerned’ about the delay in announcing the official results of LG elections in Karachi, while the JI and the PTI levelled allegations of rigging
As of the filing of this report, results of Karachi’s 54 union committees (UCs) out of 246 have been released. PPP has emerged victorious in 27 UCs, PTI in 13, Ji in 12, while Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) claimed victory in one UC each.
Unofficial results depict the PPP having swept the LG polls in all nine districts of Hyderabad Division, apart from a couple of upsets at the hands of the PTI and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). Reports from the coastal districts of Thatta and Sujawal also strongly suggested that the PPP was in a comfortable electoral position. Meanwhile, the PTI suffered a major setback in the Karachi LG polls as Khurram Sher Zaman — considered the party’s candidate for city mayor — lost to PPP’s Najmi Alam in Saddar.
All three mainstream parties contesting the local bodies elections claimed to have attained a majority, with JI saying that if its win was not authenticated by the ECP, it would launch a massive protest
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman addressed a news conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq, JI’s Karachi headquarters, and claimed that the party made “a major historical comeback in the political arena” of the metropolitan city. He said that 91 UCs had been confirmed, 15 were also won pending official confirmation, whereas disputes had erupted in 10 UCs.
Rehman also appreciated the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for “taking a stand” and holding the local government elections despite immense pressure by the PPP and the MQM-P against doing so. He asked the PPP government to issue the confirmed results immediately, and also issued a short deadline for issuance of Forms 11 and 12, warning of holding a massive protest in the city.
He said that the JI would be unveiling its future course of action on Monday (today) if the government and the ECP didn’t resolve this issue. Meanwhile, ECP sources also said that the preliminary election results would be released today (Monday).