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Unofficial results give big lead to PTI candidate

May 20, 2013

KARACHI, May 19: Early unofficial results of re-polling held on Sunday in 43 stations in Karachi’s NA 250 constituency gave lead to Dr Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, which was obvious even before the start of the polling as the party’s three main rivals, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamaat-i-Islami, had boycotted the exercise.

According to the unofficial results, at about 1:45am, Dr Alvi was leading with 17,519 votes in the 43 polling stations.

The turnout on Sunday morning was affected mainly because of the murder of the PTI’s Sindh vice-president Zahra Hussain on Saturday night, but after noticing adequate security arrangements made at the polling stations by army and Rangers, supporters of the party overcame their sense of insecurity and started reaching the polling stations.

Some polling stations recorded about 30 per cent turnout. But in localities considered to be strongholds of the MQM, the turnout hardly exceeded three per cent. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, senior vice chairman of the PTI, during his visit to a number of polling stations told reporters that the government had failed to hold transparent elections in Sindh.

However, the initiative taken by voters to come out of homes even after Saturday’s incident indicated that the wave of change had overtaken Karachi and people of the city had laid the foundation of a ‘new Pakistan’, he said.

He demanded re-polling in all constituencies across the country where there were complaints about fraud and stealing of mandate.

Dr Alvi said he was satisfied by the security arrangements made on Sunday, adding that had the army been deployed on May 11 at all polling stations in the city, the claims of people having the ‘mandate’ of the city would have been fully exposed in fair and transparent elections.

On the day of May 11 polling, the PTI candidate appeared to be favourite at least in the posh localities of the constituency and voters turned out in droves for the first time, making long queues. But they were disappointed to find neither presiding officers nor election material at the polling stations due to mismanagement of the election authorities.

However, when they were informed about the situation, necessary measures were taken and polling began in 137 polling stations with a delay of up to three hours in some cases.

But in the remaining 43 stations where re-polling was held on Sunday, no votes had been cast because the arrangements could not be made by the closing time of 5pm.