PPP’s Saeed Ghani clinches Karachi by-election, Muttahida runner-up

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) candidate Saeed Ghani Sunday won by-election in the Sindh Assembly’s constituency PS-114 in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi.

According to unofficial result, PPP’s Saeed Ghani received 23,840 votes, while Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Kamran Tessori trailed behind with 18,106 votes.

While the candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Ali Akhter Gujjar secured 5,353 votes, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Muhammad Najeeb Haroon got 5,098 votes and Jamat-e-Islami’s candidate Zahoor Ahmed Jadoon got 1,661 votes.

The polling was held in a peaceful manner at 92 designated polling stations set up for 193,892 registered voters. There were more than 20 contenders in the field.

Though it was a by-election, many said the atmosphere was one of a general election, with tight security and a huge turnout.

Compared to previous elections, the election in PS-114 witnessed a great turnout.

The seat fell vacant when Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz candidate Irfanullah Marwat won seat by defeating MQM candidate Rauf Siddiqui in the 2013 general elections. It was declared void by the election tribunal in July, 2014, and re-polling was called for.

This time Marwat was not contesting as he supported the PTI candidate.

Although it was a by-election, the constituency witnessed a great deal of interest not even seen in general elections. From Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to Dr Farooq Sattar and central leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, PML-N’s Sen. Mushahidullah to JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq, all came to the provincial assembly constituency to campaign for their respective candidates.

The voters’ turnout remained less than 30 per cent, report Dawn.

PPP’s Saeed Ghani told media a large number of Rangers personnel were deployed in Chanesar Goth to harass PPP voters. Terming it a calculated move, he alleged that their voters were stopped from casting votes at a number of polling stations.

MQM leader Dr Sattar accused the election staff of partiality at the behest of the PPP at polling stations in Chanesar Goth, where PPP activists maltreated his party’s chief polling agent.

PTI candidate Haroon also accused the PPP of using government machinery and organised rigging. He also accused the MQM of rigging.

JI candidate Jadoon claimed that the PPP and MQM had hijacked the election process.

PML-N candidate Gujjar said that a “corrupt and extortion mafia” attempted to hijack the election process but failed due to strict security measures taken by the police and the Rangers.

Sen. Mushahidullah told PKonweb the result would be an upset and Najeeb Haroon of PTI gave a thumbs up.

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