PPP Dominates Karachi LG Elections As PTI's Mayoral Hopeful Stands Defeated

PPP Dominates Karachi LG Elections As PTI's Mayoral Hopeful Stands Defeated
The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has triumphed as the highly anticipated results of Karachi's local government elections came in, with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) trailing behind, and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) a distant third.

According to the official results, out of the 235 union committees (UCs) in Karachi, PPP secured victories on 93 UCs, JI has secured second place with 86, PTI 40, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seven, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and independents three apiece, while the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) attained two UCs. One seat also went to the MQM-Haqiqi.

The provincial election commissioner for Sindh, Ejaz Anwar Chohan, said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) amicably performed its duties in conducting the second phase of local bodies' election in the province. He clarified that the delay in announcing the official results was caused in the compilation of results. "This is a complicated process and it takes considerable time to prepare the result of one union council".

Complications on Election Day

Voting commenced at 8am on Sunday and continued uninterrupted, albeit there were reports of sporadic clashes. The process ended at 5pm on the same day, but the official results did not start getting released.

This delay from the ECP in releasing the official results prompted rigging allegations from JI, PTI and JUI-F. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) responded by claiming that the results were compiled in a transparent manner, while the PPP-led Sindh government also denied its involvement in any alleged rigging the LG polls.

As hundreds of thousands of people headed to vote and elect their local government representatives, many political parties had also complained and demanded that the ECP ought to increase the polling time. According to reports, the polling process began late at some of the polling stations, and the request to prolong the polling time was apparently allowed in those stations.

Analysts had already said that even though the process of managing elections is the ECP's responsibility, PPP winning the polls in Karachi would raise serious questions, since it is the ruling party in the province.

PTI's Khurram Sher Zaman Loses in Saddar

The PTI also suffered a major setback in the Karachi local government polls when Khurram Sher Zaman — considered the party’s candidate for mayor of Karachi — lost to PPP’s Najmi Alam in Saddar.

According to partial results released by the ECP on Monday, PTI Karachi chapter president and Sindh Assembly lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman suffered a defeat in UC-XI of Saddar Town. His rival candidate Najmi Alam, supported by the PPP, won the UC election after he secured 2,696 votes.

Meanwhile, the PPP also categorically rejected any possibility of an alliance with the PTI in Sindh's local governments.

Speaking at a press conference in Sindh Assembly on Monday flanked by other party leaders, Sindh Labour minister Saeed Ghani said that the PPP "can hold talks with Jamaat-e-Islami but not with the PTI, as we have no intention of forming an alliance with them".

Expressing joy over the PPP's recent gains in the local government elections in Hyderabad, the Sindh minister also congratulated the JI for performing well in the LG polls, saying that the party was "just a little behind" the PPP. "JI and PPP have a clear number of seats," he reiterated.