Sindh LG polls.

After much ado, the second phase of local government elections in Sindh was held on Sunday, despite the provincial government's best efforts to delay this crucial democratic exercise indefinitely. Thanks to the ECP's firmness, polls were held primarily in urban Sindh, including Karachi, Hyderabad and a few other districts, to elect representatives to the third tier.

Before Sunday's electoral exercise, Pakistan's biggest city had been without elected representation at the local level for nearly two and a half years. The polling process was largely peaceful, though marked by low turnout, for which various reasons were responsible.

At the time of writing, the PPP had already captured the most seats in Hyderabad; surprisingly, the ruling party was also leading in Karachi. Jamaat-i-Islami, which ran a spirited campaign and lobbied for the polls, had the second-highest number of seats in Karachi, while the MQM-P, which traditionally dominated electoral politics in urban Sindh, sat this one out because of what it saw as unjust delimitations and 'fake' voters' lists.

It is a matter of concern that the JI and PTI have raised questions about the transparency of the polls, particularly the late compilation of Karachi's results, with both parties alleging that state machinery was used to rig the elections. As we have seen on the national stage, unless these allegations are adequately addressed, controversy will mar the LG polls and put a question mark over the transparency of the process. Therefore, if the opposition parties have solid proof of...

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