Muttahida makes gains in CBH elections

Published April 26, 2015
Man giving his thumb impression before casting his vote at a polling station during Cantonment Board elections.— Online
Man giving his thumb impression before casting his vote at a polling station during Cantonment Board elections.— Online

HYDERABAD: Canto­nment Board Hyderabad (CBH) elections held for eight wards on Saturday yielded upsets for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and gains for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

According to unofficial results, the ward-4 results led to an upset for the PPP’s Mohammad Ibrahim Qureshi, who was defeated by Abdul Rehman Pathan (independent) in a close fight. Both the candidates bagged an equal number (275) of votes in the male polling station and Mr Pathan secured only nine votes more than Mr Qureshi bagged in the female polling station. Mr Pathan got a total of 440 votes. It is learnt that an application for recounting is being filed by Qureshi.

In ward-5, MQM’s Iqbal Memon (468 votes) beat PPP’s Nadeem Arain in a one-on-one electoral contest. Ward 4 and 5 are created recently under new delimitation.

Mr Pathan’s family had supported the PTI candidate in the 2013 general elections though he had been with the PPP in the past.

A brawl broke out between Mr Pathan’s supporters and opponents after announcement of the unofficial results. Tension persisted in area throughout the polling process.

PPP’s Faqir Mohammad defeated MQM’s Nisar Ahmed in ward-1 in a one-on-one contest while Qazi Ashad (491 votes) won ward-7 defeating PTI’s Syed Ahmed Rasheed and MQM’s Riaz Panhwar.

MQM’s Saleem Qureshi (618 votes) won the ward-2 contest beating PTI’s Ajmal Shah and PPP’s Mohammad Shakir and in ward-9 (Mumtaz Colony) election, MQM’s Abdul Rasheed (2,272 votes) beat PPP’s Lal Rehman.

Syed Jamil Rizvi (2,349 votes) defeated PPP’s Adnan Shah in another one-on-one contest for ward-10. PPP’s Abdul Jalil Memon (199 votes) won the ward-6 contest beating two independent candidates. Ward-6 is the smallest of 10 CBH constituencies in terms of registered voters.

The MQM has already won ward-3 and 8 uncontested.

A peaceful polling was witnessed amidst strict security maintained by army personnel, who were deployed in and outside polling stations and booths. Polling started at 8am and no candidates came up with any complaints of rigging, mismanagement or any electoral malpractice. Turn out was low in the first half of the day but it improved in second half when electioneering at candidates’ camps reached its peak.

Great enthusiasm was witnessed in the election for wards 1, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 where PPP and MQM had one-on-one contests. Local leaders and some lawmakers from both the parties, as well as the PTI, were there to encourage their respective candidates. Varying percentage – 30 to 40 - of turnout was recorded in different wards.

Many voters were transported to polling stations by activists while candidates remained present at their election camps at the prescribed distance from polling station.dad

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2015

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