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MQM grabs top slots in four of Karachi’s six districts

MQM grabs top slots in four of Karachi’s six districts

KARACHI: The top slot of four of the six district municipal corporations in Karachi were on Wednesday won by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s candidates in the last phase of the local government election held over eight months after the Dec 5 polls.

The Pakistan Peoples Party, which runs the Sindh government and has won LG elections in most districts of Sindh, grabbed the top slot of two DMCs — South and Malir — and also comfortably won the Karachi District Council (KDC).

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf managed to win the elections for vice chairmen of Karachi’s South and West DMCs after making alliances with the PPP and MQM, respectively.

The polling at all the polling stations in the city started smoothly and well in time — at 9am — as per the Election Commission of Pakistan’s schedule.

It remained peaceful as the police and personnel of the paramilitary Rangers were there to maintain calm in and outside the polling areas.

As it was an indirect election in which the elected council members of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the DMCs and the KDC were to vote and not the people themselves, the electoral process remained an indoor affair as the routine life continued normally, the government and private offices saw the daily business, educational institutions were open and vehicular traffic was as lively as ever.

The election proceedings inside the polling stations remained calm. The voters of the respective municipal bodies were required to bring their computerised national identity cards and the membership cards of the councils they had been elected on.

Sindh Election Commissioner Tanveer Zaki said that the election of Karachi mayor and deputy mayor and chairman and vice chairman of the DMCs were held separately.

He said they had printed separate ballot papers for the head and the deputies of those municipal bodies. However, for the KDC and the rest of Sindh, the elections were held in pairs — a single vote went to the head and the deputy.

The ballot papers for mayor and chairman of the DMCs were light green, while it was white for the deputies.

Voters were not allowed to bring their cellphones inside the polling stations. The district returning officers and presiding officers had been granted magisterial powers.

Meanwhile, there were two ‘pairs’ belonging to the PPP and the PTI who contested against each other to head the KDC.

PPP’s Salman Murad and Rafiq Jat secured 40 votes against the PTI’s 15 votes.

Similarly, PPP’s Khalid Marwat bagged 13 votes against an independent rival Malik Taj who got six votes for vice chairman’s seat of DMC-Malir. PPP’s Jan Mohammad Baloch had already been elected unopposed as the DMC’s chairman.

Unofficial results showed Malik Fayyaz of the PPP defeated MQM’s Irshad Ali for chairman of DMC-South; while PTI’s Mansoor Shaikh, had been elected as the vice-chairman of the same DMC.

In DMC-East, MQM’s Moeed Anwer and Abdul Rauf elected as the chairman and vice chairman, according to unofficial results, comfortably defeating the candidates of the rival opposition parties.

Similarly, MQM’s Nayyar Raza and Ruknuddin were elected as chairman and vice chairman, respectively in DMC-Korangi, where they faced negligible opposition by the rivals.

In DMC-Central, MQM’s Rehan Hashmi and Shakir Ali had already been elected unopposed as the chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

In DMC-West, MQM’s Izhar Ahmed Khan and PTI’s Azizullah Afridi emerged victorious as chairman and vice chairman.

According to the ECP, eight candidates vied for the slot of chairman in South, West, East and Korangi DMCs while 13 contested for the vice chairman’s seats.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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