By Zia Ur Rehman
December 25, 2018
Amid slim turnout in the Sunday by-elections for 22 vacant seats of the local government system in Karachi, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has returned victorious by winning the maximum number of seats, 10, including one slot of UC chairman and two of vice chairmen, according to unofficial results received so far.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came second by winning eight seats mainly from rural and underdeveloped areas of Malir, Lyari and Keamari. The vote casting ratio in the by-polls was very low, ranging from five to 10 per cent in various constituencies.
The by-elections results seem to have reinvigorated the MQM-P in the city which could only win four National Assembly seats from Karachi out of total 21 seats in the recent general elections. Analysts believe that the results show that the MQM-P seems to be overcoming the turmoil that beset the party after it severed ties with Altaf Hussain and its internal rifts.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which won most of the national and provincial assembly seats from Karachi in the July 25 general polls and the following by-polls, showed a dismal performance in the local government by-polls.
The local government seats for which by-elections were held on Sunday had fallen vacant due to resignations or deaths of the elected representatives. Firdous Shamin Naqvi, PTI leader and Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Shah Nawaz Jadoon, PTI MPA from PS-113, Jam Abdul Karim Bijar, PPP MNA from NA-236, Saleem Baloch, PPP MPA from PS-89 and Hameed Uz Zaffar, MQM-P MPA from PS-121 had resigned from the posts of UC chairman, vice-chairman and district councillors after they emerged victorious in the general elections on July 25.
Except one each, the PPP and PTI retained all the local government seats that had been vacated by their members.
According to unofficial results, MQM-P’s Mustafeez Farooqi won after securing 1,507 votes against PTI’s Sheraz Nagani (696 votes) for the post of UC-22 Hyderi vice chairman.
In Ward 4 of UC-2 New Karachi, MQM-P’s candidate (673) defeated PTI’s Zeeshan (90). In Ward-2 of UC-41 Liaquatabad, MQM-P’s Muhammad Faraz (595) defeated PTI’s candidate Muhammad Nawaz (85).
In Ward 1 of UC-40 Liaquatabad, MQM-P’s Syed Nazimuddin (692) won the councillor’s seat by defeating PTI’s Babar Abbasi (230).
In UC-18 Gulshan-e-Iqbal, PTI’s Niaz Ahmed (944) won the chairman seat and independent candidate Haji Hanif Jahangir (528) was the runner-up. The seat was vacated by PTI leader and PA opposition leader Naqvi. In UC-13 Jamshed Quarters, MQM-P’s Syed Irshad Ali (1,861) won the slot of UC chairman by defeating PTI’s Irfan Ali (715).
The PTI could not retain its UC chairman slot in UC-45 Sikandarabad which had fallen vacant because of the resignation of PTI MPA Jadoon. The PTI candidate (1,047) lost to PPP’s Abdul Malik (1,757).
In Ward 4 of UC-14 Banaras, the Awami National Party’s (ANP) candidate Umar Ali (747) emerged victorious after defeating PPP’s Noor Muhammad (428). In UC-41, PPP’s Ashgar Ali Shah defeated PTI’s Muhammad Yousaf.
MQM-P MPA Zaffer had resigned from UC-11 Jaffer Tayyar after securing PA seat. The MQM-P retained the seat after defeating the PPP.
In Ward 1 of UC-4 Majeed Colony, PPP’s Ubaidullah Akhunkhel (944) defeated ANP’s Muhammad Mairaj (382). In Ward 1 of UC-8 Moeenabad, independent candidate Muslim Khan defeated another independent candidate Mir Ahmed Gul.
In the race for the councillor of Ward 2 of UC-13 Chakiwara, PPP’s Bashir Ahmed (776) defeated independent candidate Shabbir Bhatti (332).
In Ward 4 of UC-20 Ranchore Line, MQM-P’s Mirza Faisal Manzoor (384) won and PTI’s Asmatullah (153) was runner-up. In UC-22’s Ward 1, MQM-P’s Wosran (508) won the general councilor seat, defeating PPP’s Mukesh Kumar (359). In Ward 2, PPP’s Zahid beat PTI’s Sajid Anwar Ahmed.
In Ward 3 of UC-23 Nanakwara, PPP’s Aqeelur Rehman (786) defeated PTI’s Mohammad Moshin (643). In Ward 4 of UC-27 Ramswami, independent candidate Abdul Rasheed lost to MQM-P’s Muhammad Naeem Khan.
In Ward 4 of UC-8 Natha Khan Goth, MQM-P’s Muhamamd Amir (533) won and defeated PPP’s Samar Zaidi (239).
District Council Karachi
For the elections of the District Council Karachi, a separate borough for the city’s coastal and rural areas, three candidates, Akram Baloch from Ghaghar UC, Javed Memon from Murad Memon UC and Shedo Jhoko, were elected unopposed.
Interestingly, the PPP and the powerful Bijar family suffered a setback after losing the seat of district councilor in Jam Murad Ali UC, which was vacated by PPP’s Bijar after he became an MNA, to an independent candidate Saddam Baloch.
However, the PPP retained the seat vacated by MPA Baloch where its candidate Dad Kareem Baloch defeated PTI’s Ataullah Baloch.