KARACHI, May 15: Almost wiped out from three provinces, the Pakistan Peoples Party holds its ground firm in its stronghold of Sindh where it has won a majority of both national and provincial assembly seats in the May 11 elections followed by its past ruling partner Muttahida Qaumi Movement which, despite facing serious rigging allegations in Karachi polls, retained every constituency it has been winning since the late 1980s.
The last week polls in Sindh hardly returned different results from the past as PPP candidates proved themselves much stronger than their rivals, the MQM in urban centres of the province retained its dominance, and parties with a number of electables in certain districts grabbed their traditional chunks.
The data compiled by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suggests that of the 61 National Assembly seats from Sindh the PPP won 29, the MQM 18, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional five, and the National People’s Party won two seats.
The majority party in the centre and Punjab, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, could win only one seat, that too by its candidate who was earlier a senior member of the PPP in Sindh, and had shifted his loyalty just before the elections (Abdul Hakim Baloch from NA-258).
Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Sheerazi is the only independent candidate in Sindh to win a National Assembly seat from his stronghold of Thatta.
Results of four National Assembly seats (NA-210, Kashmore-III; NA-229, Tharparkar-I; NA-230, Tharparkar-II; and NA-250, Karachi-XII) have been held up after repolling was ordered on
certain polling stations of these constituencies by the ECP following vote rigging complaints.
Elections had already been postponed on NA-254 (Karachi-XVI) days before May 11 following the killing of a candidate associated with the Awami National Party.
In the provincial assembly, again it is the PPP which is leading the winning parties’ table. It has 64 seats followed by the MQM’s 37. The Pir Pagara-led PML-F won seven seats and five independent candidates contesting from different Sindh districts emerged victorious.
Having failed to adequately inspire National Assembly contests, the PML-N in the Sindh Assembly won four provincial assembly constituencies followed by the NPP, which won three seats. One seat each was won by the Pakistan Muslim League, better known as Q-League, and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Results of five provincial assembly constituencies were held up after orders of repolling on certain polling stations in PS-17 (Kashmore-1), PS-62 (Tharparkar-III), PS-63 (Tharparkar-IV), PS-112 (Karachi-XXIV) and PS-113 (Karachi-XXV). Elections were postponed before the May 11 polls on two constituencies — PS-64 (Mirpurkhas-I), where a candidate died of cardiac arrest, and PS-95 (Karachi-VII), where one of the candidates was gunned down hours before the voting.
The results took more than 100 hours to get finalised after the polls were over on May 11 evening as the authorities defend the counting process saying it took time due to hectic exercise which required all parties’ satisfaction and micro-level checks.
“Now only the results of those constituencies are awaited where repolling has been ordered in certain polling stations due to various reasons,” said Sindh election commissioner S. M. Tariq Qadri. “The election commission has also taken up complaints regarding rigging in NA-250 and fixed May 17 for the hearing to be held in Islamabad. Senior leaders of the contesting parties and officers concerned have been summoned for that purpose.”