Supporters of Zulfiqar Mirza continued their protest outside the district returning officer’s (DRO) office in Badin on Monday, accusing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of attempting post-electoral rigging.
This accusation came after a delay in the announcement of the electoral verdict of the Badin elections. The two sides secured 32 district council seats each, which will elect the district council’s chairperson in the November 19 elections.
The polling on the remaining four union councils of the UC-68 Badin district council were held on January 23. Mirza’s supporters, who continued the sit-in protest for the second day, expressed their fear that the results would be changed.
“We have won all the four UCs,” claimed Dr Mir Abdullah Talpur and Haji Sher Jamali, who led the protesters. “But the DRO’s office is deliberately delaying the announcement so that they can change the results.” The PPP had secured 29 district council member seats and 31 of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of the union councils in the UC-68 district council. Later, the party’s seats increased to 32 after three independent candidates who won district council member seats joined the PPP.
The Mirza group’s candidates bagged the remaining general seats and the seats for chairpersons and vice chairpersons, besides a few won by his allies in the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz.
Badin is the only district in Sindh where the PPP has been defeated with a wide margin. The party has won district councils in all of Sindh’s districts, including in Sanghar where polling was held on January 23 after being postponed twice due to security fears. The Mirza group has won six out of 10 town committees and Badin’s only municipal committee, while four town committees went to the PPP.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2016.