- MQM leads in third phase of LG elections by wining 115 UCs out of 247 in Karachi
- PML-N emerges as leader by winning 882 seats, according to unofficial results
Consolidated with its victories in the previous two phases of the local government elections, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has again swept seven districts of Punjab in the third and final phase while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has retained its sway over all six districts of Karachi.
The final phase of the LG elections was held on Saturday amidst high-level security arrangements made by police and Rangers.
In Sindh, polling was held in six districts of Karachi including Karachi East, Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi Central, Malir, and Korangi. In Punjab, polling took place in seven districts — Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Layyah — and four central Punjab districts — Jhang, Khushab, Sialkot and Narowal as well as Rawalpindi.
MQM TAKES KARACHI
According to unofficial results, Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) was leading in the third phase of local government elections by wining 115 UCs out of 247 in Karachi. The Pakistan People’s Party stood second by winning 20 UCs, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came on third by winning 10 UCs, while 25 UC seats were clinched by others.
MQM’s expected candidate for Karachi’s mayorship, Waseem Akhter, was elected as Chairman UC-11 of District East. He defeated PPP’s District President Zulfiqar Qaimkhani on the chairmanship seat. PPP candidate Alam Khan won District Malir’s UC-1 chairman seat by obtaining 3,500 votes.
Another PPP candidate, Azam Gabol, won the UC-7 Chairmanship in District Malir by securing 2006 votes. PPP’s third candidate, Rafique Jatt, won the election for UC-31 Chairman seat in District Malir. He got 5,200 votes, while PPP Karachi Division President Naji Alam lost chairmanship seat of UC-30 in District South.
Karachi JI Chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman lost the election for UC-18 Chairman in District Central. MQM candidate Mazhar Hussain obtained 3,205 votes by defeating Naeem-ur-Rehman, who had received only 702 votes. PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi congratulated MQM on winning majority of the seats in the local government elections.
In his message on Twitter, Member of National Assembly from Karachi’s NA 246, Dr Alvi, acknowledged that MQM won a large number of union councils in the metropolis. He stated, “MQM has won a large number of UCs in Karachi and I congratulate them on this victory.”
MQM leader Farooq Sattar said more than 50 polling volunteers from MQM had been attacked at 25 polling stations in Karachi. In Landhi, fake ballots were cast, he said.
PML-N RULES PUNJAB
In Punjab, PML-N emerged as the leader by winning 882 seats, according to unofficial results. Independent candidates secured 831 seats altogether, while the PTI followed up with 236 and the PPP with 106.
Reports suggested that turnout of voters crossed 50 per cent in almost all 12 districts.
The first two phases of the elections were held in 12 districts on Oct 31 and Nov 19. The Election Commission of Pakistan’s Punjab office has announced that the results will be consolidated in a day or two and notified in one go.
In Punjab, PML-N was leading with 708 UC seats followed by independents candidates who got 687 seats. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf remained third by winning 150 seats, while PPP could manage to get only 55 seats.
Overall the voter’s turnout might be on lower side but people came with great enthusiasm. The eagerness of voters could be judged by the fact that polling stations saw senior citizens casting their votes. A 103-year-old woman arrived also cast her vote at UC-40 of Rawalpindi. She came on a wheelchair and used her right to vote.
On the other hand, Ghulam Abbas, aged 101 years came with his son at Rawalpindi’s UC-32 of polling station to cast his vote.
Security issues marred the polling process in both Sindh and Punjab.
Supporters of political parties scuffled in Landhi, Orangi, Soldier Bazaar, Shamsi Colony in Shah Faisal Colony, and some other areas of the city. Polling was halted at a polling station in Gulistan-e-Jauhar amid clashes between workers of two rival parties. The ECP had given special powers to Sindh Rangers to ensure security.
Whereas, bloody violence was reported from Rawalpindi, where a cousin of an independent candidate was gunned down. Sporadic incidents of violence, clashes and injuries were also reported from other districts, but the elections were largely peaceful with negligible complaints of rigging.
In Sindh, the Private Bus Owners Association’s President Mir Afzal Khan has alleged that police had apprehended 60 of the associations’ buses illegally from different districts of Sindh, including Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allah Yar and Sanghar for local government elections held in Karachi.
Afzal said that on the request of district coordinators during the first and second phase of Sindh’s local government election, they had already provided them vehicles on their demand but this time they had detained their vehicles without any fare two days before the poll which was injustice with them.
The Sindh government deployed 35,057 policemen to provide security to 4,037 polling stations. Some 7,400 Rangers personnel were also deployed across the metropolis to ensure security. The security personnel were deployed at all 4,037 polling stations in the city. The authorities had declared 1,714 polling stations as most sensitive and 1,329 sensitive.
In Punjab, Law-enforcement agencies and Rangers’ vigilant security coupled with a ban on carrying and displaying arms bore fruits as voters, an overwhelming number of women among them, used their right to franchise.
At least 18 people were injured in different incidents of scuffle between political parties.
In Multan, supporters of two rival parties clashed at polling station of Union Council 10. Heavy contingent of police rushed to the scene and took the situation in control. PTI and PML-N clashed at Gangal polling station of Sialkot, where polling was stopped. PTI and PML-N workers also clashed at Union Council Mohammad Pura’s polling station in Sialkot. Seven people were injured when rival voters pelted stones on each other in Chak Qazian in Narowal.