KARACHI, June 2: The Pakistan Peoples Party has won all the six constituencies in Sindh, it emerged on Sunday.
The director of the office of the Provincial Election Commissioner, Sindh, Mohammad Najeeb, told Dawn that the PPP had won five constituencies in Kashmore and Tharparkar districts where re-polling was carried out on Saturday under strict security arrangements and the PPP was also successful in the re-counting of ballots in PS-14 Jacobabad.
Analysts say the PPP’s success is particularly significant because it has already come into power in the province winning as many seats as required to form the provincial government and the voters realising that it was pointless to vote for a losing candidate.
Ali Hassan, a Hyderabad-based senior journalist, says: “It is certainly a factor that since the PPP has won majority of the seats in Sindh, the voters did not cast their vote for the losing candidates.”
He said he believes there were other factors which ensured the victory of the PPP in the re-polling of these five constituencies. “Arbab Ghulam Rahim and his group did not do electioneering in Thar as they were under the impression that they were already known names in their area and thought that people would come in droves to vote for them. Also because of their strong-arm tactics of ransacking polling booths and other violent activities the people of their area were angry with them and they took it out by not voting for them.”
He added that because of the presence of at least three security personnel inside every polling station and as many personnel outside the station, the voters got a chance to vote freely and without undue pressure.
The Sindh High Court had directed recounting of the votes at polling station number 38 in Hawaldar Brohi village after the PPP candidate Sardar Mohammad Muqeem Khoso had filed an application, requesting the suspension of issuance of a notification that had declared his rival, PML-N’s Mohammad Aslam Abro, winner.
Mr Khoso stated in his application that Mr Abro had obtained 117 votes at polling station number 38 but the final result showed him getting 197. According to Mr Najeeb the recounting had upheld Mr Khoso’s claim to be right and hence he won by a margin of 67 votes.
Re-polling was conducted at three polling stations of PS-17 (Kashmore-I) on Saturday. The re-polling was ordered due to clashes between the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal and the PPP candidates in which reportedly 20 people were injured and some incidents of poll rigging were also reported on May 11.
The affected polling stations were in Pirjan Bajkani, Miani Kaiser and Soomar Jagirani. The main contestants at PS-17 were JUI-F candidate Raja Ghous Bux Bijarani and PPP candidate Mir Abid Khan Sundrani.
In the re-polling on Saturday Mr Sundrani won by 1,680 votes. He had won this seat in the 2008 elections as well while contesting as the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid candidate.
NA-229 and NA 230 (Tharparkar)
Observers were keenly watching the two NA constituencies (NA-229 and 230) as the Arbabs had never lost in any election in the former. This time, however, the tables turned when their rivals, the PPP, won by a narrow margin of 1,672 votes. Re-polling was conducted in four polling stations which on May 11 had either been ransacked or set on fire by rival political parties.
In NA-230 (Tharparkar-II), the contest was between two heavyweights Shah Mehmood Qureshi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who was earlier leading with 1,611 votes against Pir Noor Mohammad Shah Jilani of the PPP. According to unofficial result, Mr Qureshi had secured 45,612 votes and Mr Jilani had obtained 44,001 votes on May 11.
On Saturday Mr Jilani had won by a margin of 2,043 votes.
PS-62 and PS-62
As for PS-62 (Tharparkar-III), Makhdooom Khalil of the PPP, a son of Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who was earlier ahead of his opponent Arbab Anwar Jabbar by around 4,000 votes, was victorious on Saturday by a margin of 8,173 votes.
And on PS-63 (Tharparkar-IV) tough contest was expected between Dost Ali Rahimoon of the PPP and Dr Ghulam Hadir Samejo of the PML.
Mr Rahimoon won by a very narrow margin of 773 votes.
Interestingly, Mr Samejo had earlier contested from the NA-230 seat in the 2008 and 2002 elections and was winner in both these elections.