MQM sweeps Karachi, PML-N Punjab, PTI routed again

RAWALPINDI: According to unofficial and unconfirmed results, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was leading in the Punjab with 403 seats while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was winning in Karachi with 115 seats as the third and final phase of the local bodies (LB) elections ended on Saturday.

Some major setbacks were witnessed as certain key candidates lost their seats against their rivals.

According to unofficial results, the MQM was leading, winning 115 UCs out of 247 in Karachi, the Pakistan People’s Party stood second winning 20 UCs so far and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf remained on third position, winning 10 UCs. Twenty five UC seats were clinched by others.

Polling was held in 12 districts of Punjab — Layyah, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Khushab, Multan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur — and six districts of Karachi — Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi East, 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 bodies (LB) elections. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the request of several political parties to extend the polling time beyond 5.30pm. A fierce competition took place between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab while candidates of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) battled it out in Karachi.

According to unofficial results, the PML-N remained successful in Punjab by winning 403 seats, independent candidates were runner-ups with 362 seats, the PTI succeeded on 70 seats, PPP secured 19 seats while the PML-Q stood on the fifth position with four and JI on the sixth position with three seats.

According to the unofficial results, MQM stood first with 75 seats in Karachi, PPP second with 10 seats, independent candidates acquired success on five seats while PTI and JI managed to secure one seat each.

In Punjab, 16,986,946 registered voters including 9,447,933 male while 7,539,130 female voters used their right of vote at 14,470 polling stations established across the province for 1,335 Union Councils (UC). As many as 31,848 candidates battled for general seats in 12 districts of Punjab. In Karachi 4,141 polling stations were established, out of which 1,791 stations were declared extremely sensitive while 2,116 were declared as moderately sensitive. For the Karachi LB elections, 7,082,319 voters used their right of vote.

Major setbacks were witnessed during the LB polls both in Punjab and Karachi. Sheikh Rasheed lost in Rawalpindi in his own constituency. JI Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeem, PTI city President Ali Zaidi and PPP Karachi President Najmi Alam lost their seats against MQM candidates.

Meanwhile, the Awami Muslim League (AML) head Sheikh Rashid accepted his party’s defeat in the third and final phase of LB elections held in his constituency in Rawalpindi.

“I was hoping to win at least 13 seats in NA-55, but could manage three to four seats”, Rashid told a private TV channel. “Things have changed a lot. Now we are witnessing a democracy powered by money,” Rashid said.

He said that too much development work was carried out by the government in his area before the elections. “How could I oppose the development work which was beneficial for people?” he asked.


NEO Web Desk

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