Pakistan’s ruling coalition upsets Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf in Karachi vote

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Pakistan Peoples Party, a major partner in the country’s ruling coalition, won a majority of seats in local government elections in Karachi, the country’s largest city, to upset former Prime Minister Imran Khan in his stronghold.

The party co-led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari secured 93 seats of the 235 up for grabs in the southern port city polls held on Sunday, followed by hard line religious group Jamaat-e-Islami with 86 seats, according to results announced by the Election Commission late Monday evening. Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf trailed behind in the third position with 40 seats.

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The results are seen as a setback for Khan who has been confident in his public support and secured multiple by-elections victories since he was removed from power in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April. Khan’s party, which is now ruled out of the race for installing its mayor in Karachi, had swept the city’s majority seats in the 2018 general elections.

The runner-up party said the elections were rigged, a charge denied by the Election Commission. Karachi’s biggest ethnic party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan boycotted the election, while multiple parties included in the ruling coalition contested the Sunday’s election against each other.

Khan has decided to dissolve two of the nation’s four regional assemblies to push the government into general elections. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said elections will be held on time in October.

Read more: Pakistan provincial assembly dissolved on orders of former PM Imran Khan

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