Twitter became the site of celebration and scrutiny alike as major political parties and their followers commented on the cantonment board election results, which took place country-wide on Sunday.
The elections were conducted for 206 general seats spread across 39 of 42 cantonment boards in the country. According to unofficial results as of Monday night, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged supreme with 63 seats, whereas the Pakistani Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) rode in second on their coat tails with 59 seats. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) meanwhile lagged with 17 seats.
Federal Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar said that the results proved that PTI was still the most popular ânationalâ party in the country. He elaborated on the results and said that PMLN got no seats in Balochistan and trailed in fifth in Sindh. He added that PPP had no standing in Balochistan and Punjab, in addition to being third in Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP). Umar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was evidently the only true leader of the country.
Cantonment elections once again show PTI not only as the largest party but also the only national party. Pti won either highest or second highest seats in every province. PMLN 0 in balochistan, 5th in sind. PPP 0 in punjab & balochistan, 3rd in kp. PMIK only national leader
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) September 13, 2021
Opposition PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that the results indicated her party was doing extremely well in lieu of being targeted as âpublic enemy no 1â repeatedly. The ruling party, Sharif said, contested elections on âscrounged supportâ, whereas PML-N won seats on their âelectoral strengthâ.
Unprecedented that despite being the prime target & enemy no 1, PMLN doing exceedingly well MashaâAllah. Better than all including PTI that never contests on its electoral strength & relies solely on scrounged support. Future is PMLN InshaâAllah!
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) September 12, 2021
PPP member Sharmila Faruqi also gave her two cents on her partyâs performance. She thanked the people of Karachi for raising the number of seats PPP bagged in the previous elections from three to 11. Faruqi added that PPP was the only political party that managed to claim seats in every cantonment board.
PPP has won 11 seats in the cantonment board elections. Itâs the only party which has won seats in every cantonment board. From 3 seats in previous elections to 11 seats now. #Thankyoukarachi
— Sharmila Sahibah faruqui S.I (@sharmilafaruqi) September 13, 2021
While the high-up officials from major parties put their own spin on the election results, their loyalists and other political commentators had more astute observations to make.
Self-described political junkie Maleeha Manzoor said that PPP took over KPâs capital city Peshawar from PTI, yet Umar had claimed overall victory for his party. Manzoor said that PTI lost their strongholds to PML-N in Punjab and to PPP in Karachi. She further added that the âBig Winâ placed PTI a mere four seats ahead of PML-N.
Also, PTI lost Peshawar (KP's Capital) to PPP. But trust Asad Umar to claim victory over a total misfire.
Despite govt in federal + three provinces, losing strongholds to PPP in Karachi, Punjab to PMLN, with only 4 seats ahead of the runner-up party is really a BIG WIN.
— Maleeha Manzoor (@MaleehaManzoor) September 13, 2021
Social worker and PTI supporter Muhammad Qamar Bashir said that the election results boosted PML-Nâs position in Punjab, which gave them a standing chance to reign supreme in General Elections 2023
Food for thought @ImranKhanPTI A new lease on life has been given to PMLN by the mismanagement of the Punjab Leadership. A huge setback for PTI & a big boost for PMLN to propel them towards a win in Punjab in 2023. Punjab decides who will be the PM. @UsmanAKBuzdar @Asad_Umar https://t.co/tN2IQf1uib
— Muhammad Qamar Bashir (@GcdfMuhammad) September 13, 2021
PML-N supporter Rana Abdullah Akhter said that if PTI enjoyed popular support like a ruling party usually did, then they would have easily âstormedâ the election. Akhter added that âpolitically awareâ spectators would see the nuance in PML-N being a close runner up in that the former ruling party still had the peopleâs trust.
If PTI were successful&had the confidence of masses to eradicate Pakistan's fundamental issues then PTI would have stormed these elections as the govt in power always does. As it is, PMLN has been trusted. This is a key indication for those politically aware.#Ú©ÙÙ¹ÙÙÙ ÙÙ¹_Ø´ÛØ±_Ú©Ø§
— Rana Abdullah Akhter (@visionkamoki) September 12, 2021
The election results also demonstrated the relative might of independent candidates who took 52 seats. Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) won ten seats, while other parties including but not limited to Jamat-i-Islami (JI) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) bagged 11 seats in total.