PPP leads in Local Govt elections in Sindh

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KARACHI, Oct 31 (APP): The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is leading in
Sindh, as unofficial results have started pouring in for the first phase of the Local Government Elections held in eight districts of the province on Saturday.
Today’s local body’s elections were held to elect peoples
representatives for 1072 seats.
According to unconfirmed and unofficial results the PPP has so far
secured 564 seats, while Independent candidates are trailing behind with 130 seats. Moreover, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) has clinched 50 seats.
There were more than 4.6 million registered voters — 2,524,682 men and
2,092,322 women — in 2,333 constituencies of eight districts of Sindh, where over 10,000 candidates contested elections for various tiers of municipal units.
The polling began quite smoothly Saturday morning in Sindh concluded as
per schedule yet not very peacefully. The unfortunate incident occurred in Khairpur District when supporters of two main contending parties got entangled accusing each other for indulging in pressure tactics.
This was when the polling process was about to end, around 5:30,
and the ever growing tension led to loss of no less than 11 precious
lives coupled with 14 injuries.
Tension among political parties and groups registered to be
normal during polls is always complemented by excitement and so was
the situation in Sukkur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Larkana, Jacobabad,
Kashmore, Qamber and most parts of Shikarpur itself.
Enthusiasm and thrill was at its peak among PPP workers of
Larkana as Bilawal Bhutto Zaradari casting vote for the first time as
a bonafide citizen was an occasion in itself for many of the jiyalas.
The polling station in Naudero was one of these centres with
locals turning out in significant numbers to clinch a sight of
Bilawal.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali exercised his voting rights at ward
number eight, Khairpur taluka and was accorded warm welcome by other
voters at Government Girls High School, Jillani Mohalla.
Tension that took ugly situation at polling station UC Daraza
Sharif, located in village Wario Wahan, Ranipur off Khairpur district
also affected wards one and four in Ghotki district’s tehsil Mirpur
Mathelo and polling station 102 in Jacobabad district.
Polling had to be halted at these polling stations as opponents
clashed, however, law enforcers managed to avert any serious damage.
Sindh government had deployed over 31,000 police officers
besides the 80 army troops and 2,219 Rangers personnel for election
duty in the eight districts.
In particular context of Shikarpur, the army troops guarded
sensitive polling stations in Nara and Kingri areas of the district.
Keenness of people to get restored local body governments was
evident through considerably high turnover of the voters to the
polling stations since morning and the numbers swelled with the
passage of time.
Polling in most of the centers started at 7:30 am and continued
till 5:30 pm without any break. However, the process was reportedly
delayed at certain stations due to confusion among the concerned
polling staff.
There were almost nil instances of voters being turned back for
not carrying valid computerized national identity cards (CNICs).
According to sources some 707 of these candidates have been
elected unopposed including a daughter of Sindh’s Senior Minister,
Nisar Ahmed Khuhro two of the sons of Syed Khurshid Shah, besides
those of other senior leaders of PPP.
No papers were said to had been filed against them by any other
individual or representative of other parties.
This, the sources said were not unusual as deals are made on
basis of biradaris and other relevant considerations.