• PPP wins 84 UCs, JI 82 and PTI 40
• ECP withholds results of 20 union committees
• JI moves SHC for polls on 11 remaining UCs

KARACHI: While the results of 20 union committees have been withheld by the Election Commission of Pakistan and the elections on 11 UCs are still awaited, the results of Jan 15 local government elections in Karachi has brought Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-i-Islami neck and neck after which the two political rivals are now making moves to ensure best possible outcome in their favour once the process is completed, it emerged on Tuesday.

The recently notified results show the PPP won 84 UCs, followed by JI (82), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (40), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (five), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (three) and one independent candidate won the elections.

With total 246 UCs in seven districts of Karachi, the elections were held in 235 UCs after the polling in 11 UCs were postponed due to deaths of candidates over the past few months.

The ECP has notified results of 215 UCs and withheld the results of 20 UCs.

The fresh tally gives the ruling PPP a slight edge over the JI, but the numbers game could change altogether once the results of withheld 20 UCs are announced followed by polls in 11 remaining UCs.

‘Illogical delay’

Realising the significance of the polls in the remaining 11 UCs, the JI on Tuesday announced approaching the Sindh High Court against ‘illogical delay’ in holding the voting in these constituencies.

“We feel that the Election Commission is playing the role of a facilitator for the PPP government in Sindh against all the norms and values of neutrality and aspirations of the nation,” said JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman while talking to journalists at the SHC.

“On one hand the ECP has been delaying the polls, whereas on the other it has announced the results of even those UCs in favour of the PPP where the cases are yet to be decided. It has failed to fulfil its constitutional obligations in order to please the ruling PPP in Sindh, which is also a coalition partner in the Centre.”

In exercise of its constitutional rights, the JI Karachi chief said his party would be commencing a decisive sit-in outside the ECP, Sindh office in Karachi on March 10 and the protest would continue until their demands were met in letter and spirit.

Ghani sees plot to make polls controversial

On the other hand, the ruling party, despite winning with a narrow margin in fresh results, sounds confident that it will install its mayor in Karachi once the local bodies’ elections are completed.

However, without naming anyone, PPP Karachi chief and Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani has accused ‘non-democratic forces’ of ‘conspiring’ to make the city polls controversial and saw a PPP candidate becoming the city mayor.

“An attempt is being made under a conspiracy to make the recent local government elections in Karachi controversial,” he said. “The PPP has emerged as the single largest party in Karachi in LG polls and the next mayor of the city will belong to the PPP. The local government elections in Karachi held on January 15 were the most transparent and fair polls in the history of the city. Not a single bullet was fired anywhere.”

He said the people of Karachi had completely rejected the PTI and that the PPP respected the mandate of the JI in Karachi but the right wing party should also do the same to acknowledge his party’s victory in the city.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2023

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