According to unofficial results, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have emerged victorious in the third and final phase of local government (LG) polls held in Karachi and Punjab respectively on Saturday.
Like previous two phases of the local body elections PML-N emerged the leader in last phase in Punjab, winning 1028 seats. Independent candidates once gain surprised everyone by grabbing impressive 1001 seats. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf despite tall claims could manage to win only 262 seats and Pakistan Peoples Party won just 110 seats. The elections were held in seven south Punjab districts Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Layyah and four central Punjab districts Jhang, Khushab, Sialkot and Narowal as well as Rawalpindi.
MQM clinched 135 seats in the election for six Karachi districts, trouncing the electoral alliance of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and PTI, both of whom bagged 11 and seven seats respectively. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emerged the runner up in Karachi, securing 32 seats. Polling was held in Karachi’s 209 union committees (UCs) for which all major parties MQM, PTI, JI, PPP and PML-N were in the run.
Although some reports of clashes between the rival groups reported but in comparison of first phase, third phase of elections remained peaceful. One sad incident took place in Rawalpindi, where a cousin of an independent candidate was gunned down.
Election Commission of Pakistan once again was criticized for making inadequate arrangements and committing bizarre blunders by printing wrong election symbols and misprinting. In some poling stations polling remained suspended due to shortage of ink and other accessories. It was a pleasing sign that turnout crossed 50 percent in almost all the districts. Due to better security arrangements women also took part in huge numbers and used their right to vote.
Incidents of violence and clashes between the contesting parties reported but the elections were largely peaceful.