KARACHI/RAWALPINDI: With majority of the results in, the MQM has swept Karachi in the Local Government Elections 2015 securing 134 seats defeating the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) alliance. Having secured the majority it is only likely that the Mayor of Karachi will be from the MQM. Coming in second with 32 seats, still more than the PTI-JI alliance was the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). In Punjab the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) secured 403 seats silencing all claims about the voting sentiments by the opposition parties. The Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was sure of a victory in but instead of the earlier claimed 13-16 seats was unable to a quarter of his target.
He accepted his party’s defeat in the third and final phase of LB elections held in his constituency in Rawalpindi saying, “I was hoping to win at least 13 seats in NA-55, but could manage three to four seats”, “Things have changed a lot. Now we are witnessing a democracy powered by money,” Rashid added.Other setbacks were witnessed in the third phase of the LG Polls in Karachi where JI Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeem, PTI city President Ali Zaidi and PPP Karachi President Najmi Alam lost their seats against MQM candidates.In Karachi, elections were held for one metropolitan corporation (KMC), six district municipal corporations (DMCs) — Karachi West, Karachi East, Karachi South, Karachi Central, Korangi and Malir — besides district councils covering the rural areas. Polling for 247 union committees/councils and 988 wards started at 7:30am and continued till 5:30pm without any break. Over 33 percent seats for women and 5 percent each for peasants, youth and minorities have been allotted in the KMC and six DMCs. Amidst an ongoing operation against the criminal elements and rising sense of security, a vast majority of 7,082,319 eligible voters are expected to exercise their right of franchise today.
Eighteen candidates were elected unopposed in Karachi Central followed by 13 in West, nine in South, six in Malir and two in East. Voters in urban areas of Karachi voted to elect a total of 1,210 members while those inhabiting its rural areas voted for 304 seats in 38 union councils. The contenders contested for 209 union committees of urban areas and 38 union councils for the rural areas that only fall within the West and Malir districts of Karachi. The 12 districts of Punjab, where elections were held, included Layyah, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Khushab, Multan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur.