PPP gets wiped out in Badin by Zulfiqar Mirza’s group, MQM takes Hyderabad
PTI restricted to Mianwali in Punjab as a large number of independents were also successful in second phase of LG polls
PML-N bags most seats in Gujranwala, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Toba Tek Singh, Jehlum, Sheikhupura, Mandi Bahauddin and Khanewal
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) received a clear majority in Sindh even though the party suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of its disgruntled former leader Zulfiqar Mirza in Badin, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has a clear edge in Punjab in the second phase of local government elections held on Thursday.
Polling was held in 14 districts of Sindh and 12 of Punjab in the second phase of the LG polls, with 20 million voters exercising their right to vote.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed reports, PPP led in Nawabshah, Makli, Thatta, Dadu and other districts of Sindh while MQM took a clear lead in Hyderabad. MQM won 51 out of the 96 local seats in Hyderabad which meant that it would be able to elect its mayor in one of the major cities in Sindh.
Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s group won in all 14 wards of the municipal committee Badin. The alliance was also victorious in town committees of Tando Bago, Pangrio, Khoski, Nindo Shahar and Khoski town. PML-N also fared well in Badin, with four of the PML-N supported candidates winning in Golarchi Town Committee.
A jubilant Mirza was defiant, but not off-message, “PPP did not lose, this is a defeat for the Zardari gang,” Mirza said after the victory. He reaffirmed that the PPP was still his party.
“It’s a tragedy that Bilawal came to Badin and I could not join him,” said Mirza referring to Bilawal’s recent rally held in Badin in the run up to the LG polls. “Bilawal is misguided by his father,” he said, and added that he does not hold anything against the PPP chairman.
PUNJAB LG POLLS:
In Punjab, PML-N won a majority of seats in Gujranwala, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Toba Tek Singh, Jehlum, Sheikhupura, Mandi Bahauddin, Khanewal and other districts. PTI, however, took a lead in Mianwali. Independents also had a field day as a large number of independent candidates were able to secure seats.
Overall, PML-N won 657 seats in the province while PTI was a distant second with 231 seats. Independents won 546 seats in the province.
At least people were injured in scuffles between political rivals and their supporters in the two provinces during the course of the day.
At least two people were injured in Badin and 15 in Tharparkar after scuffles broke out between rival political party workers at polling stations in Sindh.
Director General Rangers Maj Gen Bilal Akbar reached Badin and visited polling stations to supervise the polling process.
Rangers personnel also temporarily detained councillor aspirant and PPP Badin General Secretary Aziz Memon after allegations of rigging were made against him.
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwer Sial said that over all, law and order situation during the second phase of LG polls remained ‘under control’ and the polling process was largely peaceful.
He said that minor scuffles were part of polling activities, but except Badin, no major incident was reported during the day. He said that government had made strict security arrangements with the deployment of Rangers and Police personnel at 6,127 polling stations of the 14 districts of the province
At least seven people were injured in incidents of firing between rival groups in Sahiwal, Sheikhupura and Chichawatni in Punjab.
Four people were injured in Sheikhupura ─ two of whom rescue sources say are in critical condition ─ when two rival groups exchanged fire in UC-22, while three people were injured in incidents of firing as rivals fought each other in Sahiwal and Chichawatni.
A man in Gujranwala’s UC-53 was injured after PML-N and PTI supporters fought with each other. Two people were arrested at polling station 37 in the district for trying to allegedly cast fake votes. Police had been alerted of the men who had earlier caused fights at other polling stations so they could cast fake votes.
Separately in Gujranwala, some unidentified armed men opened fire at the house of State Minister of Capital Development and Administration Usman Ibrahim. However, no loss of life was reported in the incident. Usman Ibrahim’s brother was also in the running for the post of chairmanship.
A scuffle also broke out between PTI and PML-N workers in UC-52 of Gujranwala, injuring PTI leader Bhola Gujjar.
Reportedly, a man killed his father and committed suicide over minor vote casting issue. According to the bereaved family, the father Bashir Ahmed wanted to cast vote to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) whereas his son was a supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
One person was killed and 15 injured in Mandi Bahauddin in a clash between two opposing groups of PML-N after polling ended.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reported receiving 103 complaints in the election control room of the ECP.
As many as 56 complaints were received from various districts of Punjab while 47 complaints were received from Sindh.
A number of complaints were made in reference to the misprinting of ballot papers, delay in the commencement of elections and ballot papers reaching polling stations late.
Most of the complaints in Sindh were received from Badin, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Naushero Feroz, while those in Punjab were received from Mianwali, Sargodha, Chiniot and Toba Tek Singh.
Candidates at various polling stations in both Punjab and Sindh called for a halt in voting after finding their campaign symbols misprinted on ballot papers available at the polling stations.
Polling was also suspended at certain polling stations after ink ran out.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that women voters were barred from casting their votes at various polling stations in both provinces.
ECP ordered to stop polling in UC-8 and UC-53 after complaints of misprinted ballot papers; Polling was also halted at two Tharparkar wards, one Tando Allah Yar ward and one Naushero Feroz ward following complaints of misprinting of ballot papers.