KARACHI, Aug 19: Complete results of the first phase of local government elections 2005, held on Thursday in 10 districts of the province, had not landed in the local office of the Election Commission till late Friday night. According to the schedule, the results are to be notified by the EC on Saturday.

Even the results of 178 union councils of 18 towns in Karachi district were not fully compiled till our going to the press. Precedent has, however, been set by holding peaceful elections in Karachi amidst all sorts of concern as had been expressed by opposition quarters over the past few weeks.

Unofficial results, although incomplete, available with the election commission indicate that the average turnout of voters in most areas remained between 30 and 40 per cent and the Haq Parast Group, backed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, is poised to grab the much sought after slot of the city nazim in the third phase of the elections due to be held next month.

The group’s election cell spokesman told Dawn that the Haq Parast Group had won 105 UCs in 13 towns. Under the seat adjustment in Site Town with the Khidmatgar Group, backed by Awami National Party, the Haq Parast Group would have sway over 14 of the 18 towns.

The four towns going to other groups are Lyari, Keamari, Gadap and Bin Qasim.

The trend emerging from the available 25 per cent results of 178 UCs gives to believe that the Al-Khidmat Group led by the outgoing city nazim Niamatullah Khan is runner up while the PPP-backed Awam Dost Group is set to become the third largest group in the city council.

The Al-Khidmat, which is sponsored by Jamaat-i-Islami, has claimed that despite massive rigging at the closing hour and also during the counting, it has so far secured 38 seats of nazim/naib nazim.

A spokesman for the group, giving details of the available results, said that in Gulshan Town, the Al-Khidmat panels had registered victory in UCs 1,2,7, 9, 10, 12 and 13; in North Nazimabad UCs 3, 5, 6 and 7; in Malir Town UC 1 and 7; in Shah Faisal Town UCs 1 and 5; in North Karachi Town UC 4; in Gulberg Town UC 2, 3; in North Nazimabad Town UC 3 and 5, and 7; in Gadap Town UCs 7 and 8; in Keamari Town UC 1 and 6; in Baldia Town UC 1 and 3, in Landhi Town UC 4, in Bin Qasim Town UC 3, in Saddar Town UC 8, 10 and 11; in Lyari Town UC 6 and 7, in Jamshed Town UCs 1, 5, 6 and 7; and in Site Town UCs 4 and 5.

Circles close to Awam Dost Panel told Dawn that according to the results made available to them, 25 panels of the group had emerged victorious independently while it was going to win more panels fielded under adjustment with other groups.

The Khidmatgar Group, which has fielded panels under seat adjustment with other groups, said that it had fielded 19 panels of nazim/naib nazim and according to the results at hand, three panels — UC 2 of Landhi Town and UC 6 & 7 of Site Town — had defeated all their rivals.

The Khidmatgar Group spokesman, Noorullah Achakzai, said that the group had also won 27 seats of councillors in Bilal Colony, Sabzi Mandi and Landhi.

He said that the group had fielded 250 councillors under seat adjustment with other panels but most of the results were still awaited.

In UC 7 of Site Town, the naib nazim of the panel came from the JUI(F)-backed Insaan Dost Group, he said.