• Mayor Wahab, his deputy become UC chairman from Gizri, Memon Goth, respectively
• JI gets two seats of general councillors; PTI wins UC vice chairman

 (Clockwise from top) The atmosphere outside a polling station in Gizri is highly charged as activists of Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and
Jamaat-i-Islami come face to face in the presence of police; political workers at a camp outside a polling station in Malir guide voters; a presiding officer applies indelible ink on a voter’s thumb; and counting is underway at a station after voting on Sunday.—Shakil Adil / White Star/ PPI
(Clockwise from top) The atmosphere outside a polling station in Gizri is highly charged as activists of Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami come face to face in the presence of police; political workers at a camp outside a polling station in Malir guide voters; a presiding officer applies indelible ink on a voter’s thumb; and counting is underway at a station after voting on Sunday.—Shakil Adil / White Star/ PPI

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party won majority seats in the by-elections held in Karachi’s nine local government constituencies for the seats of union committee (UC) chairmen, vice chairmen and ward councillors on Sunday.

Among the successful candidates are Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Deputy Mayor Salman Abdullah Murad, who, according to unofficial results, won a union committee (UC) each in Saddar Town in district South and Gadap Town in district Malir to meet legal requirements for retaining their respective offices.

The by-elections in five districts were held peacefully and voters exercised their right to elect three UC chairmen, as many vice chairmen and three ward councillors in Saddar Town, Mauripur Town, Gadap Town, Malir Town, Jamshed Town and Nazimabad Town.

According to unofficial results, the PPP won a total of five seats followed by the Jamaat-i-Islami, which grabbed two seats of general councillors in Nazimabad and Jamshed Towns, while the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf won the by-election on UC vice chairman seat in Saddar Town. An independent candidate also won a general councillor seat in Malir Town.

As turnout remained low in all the places where by-elections we­re held, it was significantly higher in UC-7 of Gadap Town, from where Deputy Mayor Abdu­llah Murad was contesting election. According to unofficial res­u­lts, he secured over 10,000 vot­es against JI candidate Ayub Khas­keli who bagged only 1,300 votes.

Mayor Wahab, according to unofficial results, won UC-13 (Kehkashan, Clifton) of Saddar Town by bagging 3,976 votes followed by JI candidate who got 1,566 votes.

Two hurt in violence in Memon Goth

Polling that began at 8am continued uninterrupted for nine straight hours till 5pm. The ECP set up 121 polling stations in Karachi. Forty-two of the polling stations were declared ‘highly sensitive’ and 79 ‘sensitive’.

The polling largely remained smooth and peaceful except at a polling station of Memon Goth where rivals accused the PPP of rigging and using district administration to influence the process.

A video also went viral on social media, showing an unidentified man displaying ballot papers stamped in favour of PPP’s Salman Murad, who was contesting election for UC-7 chairman. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan had not taken notice of the video despite the fact that it was widely shared by many.

The same UC witnessed a brief episode of violence in which two persons suffered injuries.

Malir SSP Tariq Mastoi said that a scuffle had erupted between workers of the PPP and Pakistan Tehree-i-Insaf but it did not affect the polling process. The police rushed to the spot and pacified both the parties.

Tension in Gizri

Also, tension gripped the Gizri area where workers of the PPP, JI and PTI came face to face when Mayor Wahab reached the Gizri College polling station to cast his vote.

Charged workers of the three parties shouted slogans against each other, prompting police to force several activists to leave the polling station. The law enforcers also restricted entry and allowed entry to only voters after checking their identities.

Talking to the media after casting his vote, Mayor Wahab accused the rival JI of making the democratic process controversial after seeing its defeat.

“I have said this before and I reiterate we need to stop the politics of hatred. The JI must learn to respect the mandate of others and work together for the development of the city,” he said, adding: “You aren’t only damaging and exposing your own politics but also betraying those who voted for you.”

PPP bags majority seats in other Sindh districts

NAWABSHAH: Candidates belonging to the PPP emerged victorious in the by-elections held in over a dozen districts of Sindh.

Strict security arrangements were made at all the polling stations. Polling continued smoothly from 8am to 5pm.

According to unofficial results, Ashrafuddin Ansari of the PPP got 828 votes and won the seat of general councillor in Town Committee Tando Adam in Sanghar district. His opponent, Ghulam Mustafa Saand of the Grand Democratic Alliance, managed to get only 95 votes.

In Shaheed Benazirabad, Chaudhry Waseem Afzal of the PPP got 778 votes and won the seat of ward councillor in Daur against Faheem Qadri of Tehreek Labaik Pakistan, who secured only 71 votes.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2023

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