KARACHI: Although the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has emerged as the largest political party in Karachi after the local government polls, it has failed to secure a simple majority in the City Council, due to which all eyes are set on the runner-up, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), whose decision of alliance will determine the next mayor of the city.
According to the official results of the Karachi local government elections announced by the ECP, the PPP, JI and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have become the three largest parties of the City Council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation after having won 93, 86 and 40 union committees (UCs) respectively.
As the PPP has ruled out any possibility of forming a coalition with the PTI, the JI has become the kingmaker in Karachi as its decision to ally itself either with the PPP or the PTI will determine the new local government setup of the city.
PPP Karachi President Saeed Ghani in a press conference on Monday stated in unambiguous words that the PPP would not hold any talks with the PTI for coalition in the City Council. He added that the party was however open to talks with the JI.
Meanwhile, in a late-night press conference, Karachi JI chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman claimed that the elections were rigged and the first position of the JI was snatched. He declared that the next mayor of Karachi would belong to the JI.
The PTI also alleged that the elections were rigged, and its leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said the PTI could consider conditionally supporting the JI. Of the 246 union committees (UCs) in Karachi, the elections were held in 235 as some candidates in the remaining 11 UCs had passed away. According to the ECP’s official results, the PPP became the largest party after winning 93 UCs, the JI trailed behind with winning 86 UCs and the PTI ranked third with 40 UCs.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won seven UCs, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) three UCs, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) two UCs, and Mohajir Qaumi Movement (Haqiqi) won one UC. Three UCs were also won by independent panels.
The PPP will also elect 32 City Council members on the reserved seats for women, five on the reserved seats for youths, five on the reserved seats for labour, five for the reserved seats for non-Muslims and one each for the reserved seats for persons with disabilities and transgender persons, after which the party will have 142 seats in the City Council.
The JI will elect 30 women, five youths, 5 labourers, five Non-Muslims and one person with disabilities and one transgender person on the reserved seats. The PTI on resaved seats will elect 14 women, two youths, two labourers, and two non-Muslims. The PML-N, JUI, TLP, and independents will elect a total of five women on the reserved seats.
Due to delay in the announcement of results of Karachi, the JI and PTI raised concern and criticised the Sindh government and ECP. Responding to the allegations, the ECP maintained in its statement that the results were being compiled in a transparent manner, while the PPP’s Sindh government also rejected rigging allegations.
Imdad Soomro adds: By Monday night, the authorities had released the results of only 116 UCs of the total 160 UCs of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC), with each UC comprising four wards. Of the total of 800 constituencies in Hyderabad, the elections were held on 599 because of a large number of candidates won unopposed. Deaths of some candidates also led to the cancellation of elections in over a dozen seats.
The delay in the issuance of Hyderabad results by the ECP made political parties impatient and many minor incidents of fighting and intimidation were reported in various parts of the city.
PPP and PTI supporters fought outside the election cell set up outside the Public School Hyderabad as their patience ran out while waiting for the official announcement of election results. As per updated official results, the PPP was leading in Hyderabad, bagging the seats of chairmen and vice chairmen of 58 UCs. The PPP was followed by the PTI that won at least 39 seats.
Some 10 UCs of the HMC have so far gone to independent candidates while the JI and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan have won from one UC each. Unofficial figures suggest that the PPP has won a majority of seats in the HMC, which is divided into nine town municipal corporations named Nerunkot, Mian Sarfaraz, Preetabad, Tando Jam, Tando Fazal, Sachal Sarmast, Shah Latifabad, Hussainabad and Qasimabad.
The PPP’s candidates, as per the available official results of the ECP, have secured 13 seats from Neronkot, one from Mian Sarfaraz, two from Preetabad, eight from Tando Jam, six from Hussainabad, and 14 each from Tando Fazal and Sachal Sarmast.
The PTI’s candidates have won four seats each from Mian Sarfaraz and Sachal Sarmast, two from Nerunkot, 13 from Preetabad, 14 from Shah Latifabad, and two from Hussainabad. The TLP bagged one seat from Nerunkot and the JI’s candidates returned successfully from a UC in Shah Latifabad.
As per the official results of other districts of the Hyderabad division, the PPP won 28 of 37 seats in Sujawal district and 118 of 180 seats in Jamshoro. In Thatta, the PPP won 37 seats. In Tando Muhammad Khan, the party secured at least 17 of the total 28 seats, and in Tando Allahyar, it won 16 of the total 22 seats of chairmen and vice-chairmen.