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HomeNationalMQM-P narrowly wins NA-240 seat after violence-marred by-polls

MQM-P narrowly wins NA-240 seat after violence-marred by-polls

MQM-P’s Abu Bakr secures 10,683 votes followed by TLP’s Shahzada Shahbaz, who bagged 10,618 votes One person shot dead, over 10 injured in armed clashes

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Thursday narrowly won the NA-240 (Korangi Karachi II) by-election that was marred by violence.

According to unofficial results, MQM-P’s Abu Bakr grabbed 10,683 votes followed by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)’s Shahzada Shahbaz, who managed to secure 10,618 votes. Raffiudin of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement secured 8,383 votes.

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One person was shot dead and 10 others were injured in clashes, with competing political parties – Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and the MQM-P – pointing fingers at each other. Police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed confirmed that the casualties were brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre from the Landhi area.

In a series of tweets, the PSP accused TLP workers of firing at its party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal during a media talk. It added the party’s central leaders were also injured.

In another tweet, the PSP said its central election office was attacked while Kamal and party president Anis Kaimkhani were present in the office. The party also accused the MQM-P of staging a “deadly attack” on Kamal in Landhi-6.

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The PSP released a statement from its spokesperson that accused the MQM-P, election officials and presiding officer of colluding to rig the by-election. “The MQM will no longer be allowed to win by stamping and rigging,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, MQM-P MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan claimed that over 10 incidents of violence against his party’s workers took place during the by-election. While talking, he alleged that at least eight MQM-P workers were “brutally tortured” by PSP members in the presence of the police and Rangers. He alleged that “PSP terrorists” barged into polling stations and beat up polling staff. “They did this in the last hour of the polling,” Hassan added.

The MPA claimed that violence initially erupted between TLP activists and the PSP, however, both parties then targeted MQM-P workers and tortured them. The turnout remained low (8.38 per cent) given the total population of the constituency (853,973), as counted in the 2017 census, with 294,385 male and 235,470 female voters. A total of 1,236 polling booths were set up in the constituency. The Election Commission and security administration had declared 203 polling stations “highly sensitive” and 106 “sensitive”.

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