Women cast votes at a polling station in Hyderabads Latifabad area during the local bodies by-polls held on Sunday, May 7, 2023. — PPI

Race for Karachi mayor on as no party wins clear majority in by-polls

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Women cast votes at a polling station in Hyderabad’s Latifabad area during the local bodies by-polls held on Sunday, May 7, 2023. — PPI

No single party has clinched a simple majority of 179 votes in the local government by-elections in Karachi — a count that is needed to ascertain who wins the coveted seat of the port city’s mayor.

Following the announcement of the by-election results, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its workers burst into celebrations, having clinched majority seats (98). However, the results for six seats have been reserved by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

However, despite its joy, PPP still needs at least 22 seats — even after an alliance with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — to ensure that the post of Karachi mayor is taken by a jiyala.

In terms of the number of seats, PPP is followed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) with 89 seats and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with 42 seats. 

In the fourth spot is PML-N with seven seats. 

Tailing behind the rest are JUI with two seats and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and an independent candidate with one seat each.

Race for Karachi mayor on as no party wins clear majority in by-polls

According to political experts, PPP has bright prospects of putting forward the next mayor of Karachi; however, given that a party needs at least 124 seats (reserved seats not included) in the city council to secure the desired majority for winning the mayoral poll, the party will have to form alliances.

Moreover, it is pertinent to note that while PPP will need at least 22 seats after forming an alliance with JUI and PML-N. If JI and PTI were to become allies, they would have a clear majority easily.

Following the completion of the direct phase of municipal elections, reserved seats will now be allocated to parties.

This way, the number of members of the House of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will reach 367 after the election on 246 direct seats and the allocation of 121 reserved seats in six categories.

In the House, 1% of seats are reserved for transpersons (2), 1% for differently-abled people (2), 33% for women (81), 5% for youth (12), 5% for workers or farmers (12) and 5% for minorities (12).

According to the party position achieved so far, of the reserved seats PPP will get 32 for women, five for youth, five for labourers, five for minority, one for differently-abled, and one for transgender persons on the basis of majority, after which the number of PPP members in the city council is likely to be 144.

On the other hand, JI is likely to get a total of 121 seats after 28 seats for women, 4 for youth, four for labourers and farmers, four for minorities, and one each for differently-abled and transgender people.

Moreover, the PTI is likely to get 20, while the PML-N is expected to secure two reserved seats in the city council.

— With additional help from NNI

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