Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) ended up with all spoils of a partial re-run of the May 11 polls in 43 polling stations of NA 250 Karachi, picking up both a National Assembly seat and two provincial assembly seats.
In an oft-debated and much-discussed rematch, PTI’s Arif Alvi secured the seat with 77,659 votes while Khushbakht Shujaat of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) came in second with 30,365 votes, according to the unofficial results.
NA-250 gained notoriety on May 11, when reports of discrepancies and mismanagement on the part of the election commission resulted in long queues and disheartened voters. Almost all political parties, including MQM, PTI, PPP and JI, reacted sharply to images of distraught voters by lodging different complaints against each other.
After conceding their inability to manage elections on NA-250, in a transparent and timely manner, the election commission had announced to hold re-polling on 43 affected polling stations on May 19.
However, the MQM had rejected the announcement by calling for re-polling at all polling stations of the constituency, while PTI and JI had made calls for re-polling in all constituencies of the city.
Amidst the allegations and counter allegations, the PPP, MQM and Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen boycotted the re-polling, providing the PTI with a clear lead on Sunday.
It may be mentioned here that after re-polling on Sunday the returning officer and district returning officer, along with presiding officers of the constituency, combined the results of the re-polls with the results of May 11 and submitted the final consolidated figures to the commission.
In light of previous accounts and given the deteriorating security situation in the city, strict security measures were in place on Sunday. In addition, foolproof mechanism to ensure polling on time was also ensured. However, the election commission reported a low turnout on the polling day, with only 38% average voter turnout, compared to an average voter turnout of nearly 60% on May 11.
The results for both provincial assembly seats PS 113 and PS 112 followed the trend set by Alvi on NA 250, with PTI candidates winning both the seats with a healthy victory margin. On PS 113, PTI candidate Samar Ali Khan secured 38,247 votes against Saleem Zia of PML-N, who bagged 11,753 votes. Similarly, PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman bagged 33,560 votes compared to his contender Hafiz Muhammad Sohail of the MQM, who came in second with 22,973 votes.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2013.
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