Lyari rejects Bilawal

PPP leaders announce party will not accept Bilawal's defeat in Lyari

Our Correspondents July 27, 2018
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. POTO: AFP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party finally lost Lyari.  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the party's chairperson and son of slain leader Benazir Bhutto, who was contesting from NA-246 could only manage to get to third place in the electoral race.  This was probably one of the most humiliating defeats the party faced since its inception and that too in an area that has voted exclusively for the PPP.

According to provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Bilawal, whose family has a long association with Lyari and even regarded it as a second home, could only get 39,325 votes against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Shakoor Shad. The latter won the seat by bagging 52,750 votes. The surprise package was Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan's Ahmed, who received more votes than Bilawal, ending up with a final tally of 42,345 votes. PML-N candidate Saleem Zia received around 19,077 votes.

The PPP also lost two provincial assembly seats of Lyari - PS-107, and PS-108. Javed Nagori, who served as a provincial minister in the last PPP government was running for PS-107. He lost the seat to TLP's Mohammad Yousus Soomro. Nagori received 14,390 votes, while Soomro returned with 26,248 votes, according to the ECP. On PS-108, where PPP's Haji Abdul Majeed Baloch was contesting, the seat went to Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal candidate Abdul Rasheed.

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PPP rejects results

PPP leaders, meanwhile, refused to accept the results. Addressing various press conferences across the city, the leaders termed it "massive rigging" and a conspiracy against the party, adding that they would protest the results at every forum.

Sherry Rehman, along with Senator Raza Rabbani and other senior leaders of the party, addressed a press conference at the party's media cell. "All political parties except PTI are being pushed to the wall," she said, adding that election results, especially certified copies of Form-45, were not given to their election agents.

"The election has become controversial," said Rabbani. "Majority of the political parties have rejected the results. We are consulting various parties to devise the next course of action," he said.

Hundreds of workers and supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party staged a demonstration on Thursday outside the Karachi Press Club to protest against alleged rigging and delays in election results.

Demonstrators holding placards and banners shouted slogans against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The protest was led by the PPP's top brass, including Taj Haider, Saeed Ghani, Waqar Mehdi, Nabeel Gabol, Rashid Rabbani, Shehla Raza, Javed Nagori and Yousuf Baloch.

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The PPP leaders declared in clear terms that the elections were rigged. PPP Sindh Secretary Waqar Mehdi maintained that July 25 elections were systematically rigged. He claimed that PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto's mandate was robbed in NA-246 and that the constituency results would not be acceptable to any Pakistani.

We will not sit with ease until we get back the stolen mandate of Bilawal Bhutto, the PPP leader vowed. According to Rabbani, the meddling in elections did not only affect the PPP, but also went against the democracy and Constitution of the country. "Results were manipulated at night when our polling agents were kicked out," he claimed.

Ghani demanded that the ECP take notice of the rigging allegations. He added that barring polling agents during vote count was pure injustice. "The thieves have left the city but the robbers have overtaken it," he maintained.

The PPP was ready to accept defeat in the elections but it would not tolerate the rigging, said Raza, former deputy speaker. "Which law permitted the election staff to kick out our polling agents?" she asked. "Parties which have only a hundred people in their rallies cannot get thousands of votes. This is clearly not indicative of transparent elections," she said.

Nagori maintained that some elements had been trying to prevent Bilawal from entering into the mainstream politics because they feared that he would overtake them. "The PPP cannot hand over the string of democracy to anyone," he remarked.

The PPP leaders were of the view that the delay in election results was deliberately made to allow rigging. The PPP will not accept the results of constituencies where results were delayed, they announced.


Yasir | 5 years ago | Reply Pretty ironic that for the last 10 years (even before that) PPPP has ruined Karachi and internal Sindh with zero development. Karachi is like a big garbage dump now. This is actually a great result and people did not vote for PPPP because of their ill-governance.
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