PPP and MQM may yield some ground to other parties

KARACHI - Sindh province, with 61 general seats at stake for national assembly in the elections, once again seemed to be dominated by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) but both are likely to muster fewer seats and less votes than the 2008 polls due to various factors.

By Rehan Siddiqui

Published: Sun 12 May 2013, 12:14 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:16 AM

The PPP and the MQM were coalition partners in the outgoing government at the centre and in Sindh and under the threat of Taleban both the parties had restricted their election campaigns with MQM only holding rallies addressed via video-link by its founder Altaf Hussain from London.

On the other hand PPP leaders hardly ventured out of their bunkers and the party’s election campaign activities were limited to advertisements in print and electronic media and that too highlighted the misdeeds of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz than its own achievements if any.

Normally considered their fortresses, the PPP in rural areas and the MQM in Karachi and Hyderabad, this time around Pakistan Muslim League-Functional in a 10-party alliance is expected to give PPP a tough time especially in interior Sindh mainly due to PPP’s poor governance in the last five years and there is less likelihood that Bhutto factor will play any major role this time.

MQM, which won 17 out of 20 Karachi seats in 2008, is too on the back foot due to the threat of Taleban and its performance in the past five years. It provides the opposition parties some comfort and many pundits believe it might lose a couple of seats in Karachi if there was no forced “stamping of votes” as was seen in the last general elections.

Although the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) has emerged a potent political force particularly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is contesting from the Sindh for first time and if the voters turnout is over 50 per cent then it could claim a few seats despite the fact its candidates are mostly unknown faces banking on the popularity of party leader, Imran Khan.

Whatever may be the final outcome of Sindh in polls one thing appears to be clear that despite their shortcomings and failures during the last fives the PPP and the MQM are likely to win majority of the seats both in the national and provincial assemblies.


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