KARACHI: In the race for Karachi’s PS-114, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Saeed Ghani emerged victorious as per the unofficial results from the polling stations. Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) candidate Kamran Tessori lost the seat by a margin of around 5,734 votes.
As per the unofficial results, Saeed Ghani secured around 23,840 votes against MQM-P’s candidate, who secured around 18,106 votes. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Ali Akbar Gujjar secured the third place with around 5,353 votes, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Najeeb Haroon won around 5,098 votes, according to unofficial results.
Saeed Ghani was termed the ‘favourite’ in this contest for being a native of the constituency and for belonging to the ruling political party of the province. Keeping in view the next year’s general elections in the country, this by-election was contested by candidates of all major political parties to make this electoral contest a litmus test for Karachi’s electoral leanings and choices.
Another important feature of this by-poll was that all major linguistic and ethnic groups of the country live in areas of this constituency. The provincial administration, law-enforcement agencies and election authorities beefed-up security arrangements to ensure free, fair and peaceful contest. Around 2,000 policemen and Rangers personnel performed security duties at 92 polling stations of the constituency.
Throughout the polling time, the contesting candidates and rival political parties levelled allegations against each other for using unfair means. On various occasions, supporters and activists of rival political parties came face-to-face, in and around areas of the polling stations.
Registered voters in this constituency were approximately 193,802: of which 112,203 were male voters and 81,689 female voters. Some 879 electoral staff supervised and conducted the by-poll.
This was second major electoral victory for PPP in Karachi since winning the PS-127 seat in September last year. This victory has also marked the second salient electoral defeat for Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-P since its decision in August last year to part ways with and completely disown the London-based leadership of the party.
The election was hotly-contested by candidates of all major political parties in the country including Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and Jamaat-e-Islami.
These candidates actively conducted campaign in the constituency throughout Ramazan, during Eidul Fitr, and post-Eid days. During the campaign, the candidates of major political parties sought alliances and withdrawal of like-minded candidates in their favour to increase their chances to win the by-poll.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has congratulated PPP’s Saeed Ghani for winning PS-114 seat and Javed Hussain for clinching Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly-4 seat in Hunza-Nagar.
“We won mini-Pakistan (PS-114) today and we will, Inshallah, win in the whole of Pakistan in the 2018 general elections,” the PPP chairman stated referring to the constituency in the provincial capital, comprising people from every province of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Fata including Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Parsis.
He said that the victories of PPP candidates from Karachi to Gilgit-Baltistan were the real change that the people of Pakistan were yearning for. “By-elections in Karachi and GB are just an indicator of the entire country’s aspirations,” he added.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that it was the power of Bhuttoism with which son of labour leader defeated rich capitalists having support of every corner except the people. He said that PPP is the chain for whole of Pakistan and those who dream breaking this chain would themselves crumble into pieces.
The PPP chairman thanked the party workers and the voters from PS-114 and GB LA-4 Hunza-Nagar. He said that PPP, Pakistan and ‘the People’ are three names of one truth.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also congratulated Saeed Ghani for winning the PS-114 seat. The CM also congratulated leadership of the party and people of the PS-114 constituency. He also thanked the people of Karachi for reposing their confidence in the PPP. Murad termed it an important ‘electoral victory’.
Sindh PPP President Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, in his message, said that the people of PS-114 had elected a ‘jiyala’ to reject those who had done their politics in the past on dead bodies. He said that the PPP would emerge victorious from everywhere in Karachi in the next general elections. It had been proven that masses of Karachi were with the PPP, he said.
Karachi would again be made the stronghold of Pakistan People’s Party under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he said. Later, the Sindh CM went to the residence of Saeed Ghani to congratulate him for the victory.