The Karachi presidents of both Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lost their seats at the hands of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, while the head of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Karachi division was outnumbered by the candidate nominated by the PTI-JI alliance, as unofficial results for the third phase of local government polls started pouring in on Saturday night from 12 districts in Punjab and six in Karachi.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed results at midnight, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was leading in Punjab with 403 seats while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was running in the front in Karachi with 50 seats.
Polling was held in 12 districts of Punjab including Layyah, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Khushab, Multan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur and six districts of Karachi – West Karachi, South Karachi, East Karachi, Korangi, Central Karachi and Malir.
The polling process began at 7.30am amidst tight security but was marred by isolated incidents of violence and mismanagement. Voters of all hues thronged polling stations in Punjab and Sindh for the third and final phase of the local body elections. The Election Commission rejected the request of several political parties to extend the polling time beyond 5.30pm.
According to unofficial results, PML-N remained successful in Punjab by acquiring 403 sets, independent candidates runner up with 362 seats, PTI succeeded on 70 seats, PPP secured 19 seats while PML-Q stood on fifth position with four and JI on sixth position with three seats.
Unofficial results from Karachi show that MQM is leading by wining 50 UCs out of 247 in Karachi. PPP is second by winning 10 UCs from Lyari and Malir, PTI and JI third by winning seven UCs, while independent candidates have won three UCs from Lyari.
Some major setbacks were witnessed as some key candidates lost their seats against the rivals.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman lost the election for Union Council (UC)-18 chairman seat of District Central. According to unofficial results, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Mazhar Hussain obtained 3,205 votes, defeating Naeemur Rehman who got only 702 votes.
PTI Karachi President Ali Zaidi lost to MQM candidate Noshad Khan in UC-16 Soldier Bazaar, while PPP Karachi President Najmi Alam suffered defeat in UC-30.
MQM’s expected candidate for Karachi’s mayorship, Waseem Akhter was elected as chairman UC-11 of District East by defeating PPP’s District President Zulfiqar Qaimkhani.
Vote count at more than 4,000 polling stations in Karachi began after the process of polling for local bodies election came to a largely peaceful end.
The elections held amidst stringent security arrangements in the metropolis did witness instances of altercations and skirmishes.
The Sindh government had deployed 35,057 police personnel, 7,400 Rangers soldiers and 10 army companies each with 80 soldiers in the city to maintain law and order on polling day.
Not severe in nature, five cases of gunshot injuries along with other 17 with wounds caused by sharp or heavy objects were brought to hospitals from different areas.
During the 10 hour long polling process, five cases of attempted fraudulent acts were thwarted by law enforcers resulting in arrest of three impersonators, one presiding officer trying to prevail upon voters and eight attempting to snatch polling material.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as many as 48 candidates have returned unopposed in all 247 union committees and councils.
Eighteen of them have been elected unopposed in district Central, followed by 13 in West, nine in South, six in Malir and two in East.
With all possible chances that many of the independent candidates may win the LG polls ECP has announced that those winning polls will be required, under Sindh Local Government Act 2013, to join political parties of their choice within one week of their publication in official gazette of returned candidates.
In Punjab 1,69,86,946 registered voters including 94,47,933 male while 75,39,13 female voters used their right of vote at 14,470 polling stations established across the province for 1,335 Union Councils (UC). 31,848 candidates battled for general seats in 12 districts of Punjab.
A major setback was witnessed in Rawalpindi in which candidates affiliated with Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rasheed lost in the constituency of their party chief.