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Clashes, rigging allegations as PPP wins KMC’s top slots for first-time

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Clashes, rigging allegations as PPP wins KMC’s top slots for first-time image

Clashes, rigging allegations as PPP wins KMC’s top slots for first-time.

  • JI claims govt ‘abducted’ PTI members to stop them from voting
  • Demands ECP to annul mayoral elections, announce black day on Friday

KARACHI:

Clashes erupted between the workers of Jamaat-e-Islami and PPP on Thursday following the announcement of unofficial results of mayoral election wherein Murtaza Wahab was elected as mayor, becoming the first elected chief of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation belonging to PPP.

South Deputy Inspector General (DGP) Irfan Ali Baloch told the media that the police detained eight suspects after clashes erupted between JI and PPP supporters outside the Arts Council of Pakistan (ACP) where voting for the city’s mayor elections was held. For More Information….

The DIG said the clashes broke out after unofficial announcement of PPP’s Barrister Murtaza Wahab victory in the mayoral elections.

According to Returning Officer (RO) Nazr Abbas, Wahab won the election for the seat of the mayor by securing 173 votes while his rival JI’s Naeemur Rehman remained runner-up with 160 votes.

According to reports, the situation outside the ACP premises remained extremely tense during the voting process but the police maintained control and let nobody take law into hand. However, as unofficial results came out, the verbal altercation turned into clashes.

The workers of both parties pelted stones at each other, on which the police and Rangers took action to control the situation. Moreover, law enforcers also detained several workers for pelting stones.

In the tight contest, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Murtaza Wahab and Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Hafiz Naeemur Rehman were facing each other with Salman Abdullah Murad of PPP and Saifuddin Advocate of JI contesting for the post of deputy mayor Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) City Council.

‘JI to observe Balck Day on Friday’

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq announced to mark Friday as “Black Day” after Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Murtaza Wahab was elected as Karachi’s mayor, defeating JI’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman.

In a tweet the JI chief said: “Black Day will be observed across the country tomorrow (Friday) against the controversial Karachi Mayoral Election. I appeal to every democrat to participate in tomorrow’s gathering.”

‘ECP should declare Karachi mayoral elections null and void’

Addressing a press conference outside Arts Council, Jamaat Islami Karachi chief Naeem has demanded of the Chief Election Commissioner to declare the mayoral election in Karachi as null and void and issue a new schedule.

“We had the 192 while PPP had 173 voters,” he claimed. Hafiz Naeemur Rehman also announced to approach courts against Karachi mayor poll.

In a letter to ECP, the JI leader said: “the Sindh government abducted 29 PTI council members to restrain them from casting vote in the election.”

“The election commission should cancel this ‘fraud exercise’ and issue a new schedule for polls,” JI letter read.

“It is prime objective of the election commission to hold fair and transparent election, but the electoral body was utterly failed in it,” the letter reads.

“The doors of the hall were closed at the time of the mayor’s election, while 29 PTI members were stopped from casting vote after abducting them from homes,” JI spokesperson complained in the letter.

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman questioned role of the returning officer, saying that more than 30 elected members have gone missing.

“There are reports that these persons have been detained and it was the ECP’s responsibility to bring these people,” he said. Rejecting the “rigged mayoral contests,” the PTI said that the PPP has preferred rigging over elections from day one.

“The PPP tried to bar elected members from casting votes by arresting them,” the PTI said, warning that Wahab would suffer the same fate as Hamza Shahbaz did in the Punjab chief minister elections.

Bilawal says heavy responsibilities on Wahab’s shoulders

PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulated Wahab on securing the seat of Karachi’s mayor and said all elected representatives of PPP, including Wahab and Salman Abdullah Murad, now have heavy responsibilities on their shoulders.

The foreign minister added that this success is the result of the long struggle and sacrifices of the people of Karachi, adding that the politics of hatred and division in the economic hub of the country has reached its logical end.

“Democracy is the best revenge,” reiterated the PPP chairman.

Bilawal also said that Karachi will now become the cradle of development, peace and brotherhood, adding that the local government problems of every street, neighborhood and area of the city will be solved without discrimination.

Zardari congratulates elected members

PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari congratulated Wahab and all mayors and deputy mayors of Sindh.

“The success of elected local representatives is the result of workers’ hard work,” he added. The PPP co-chairperson further directed all elected members to keep the doors of their offices open for the public.

Earlier, the voting for KMC mayor and deputy mayor seats was held Auditorium Arts Council of Pakistan where the members were allowed to enter the premises after identification.

The members were not allowed to carry mobile phones inside the polling station.

Voting will be by show of hands in the auditorium and according to the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP private media will not be able to cover the polling process.

However the initial proceedings will be broadcasted on state TV but the show of hands will not be shown on state television as well.

According to the entry register 303 elected members reached the polling station. Three elected members were brought in an armoured personnel carrier. However, sources within ECP confirmed that 333 members reached the city council while 33 were absent.

The PPP is the largest party in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation City Council, with 155 seats. However, it is short of a simple majority required to have its mayor elected. The PPP has also secured the support of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema e Islam but their combined strength is also short of a simple majority.

The second and third largest parties in the city council are the JI and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf PTI with 130 and 63 seats respectively. As the PTI has supported the JI, their combined votes appear to be 193, which is more than the simple majority in the House of 367 members.

Election of chairman, VCs of nine Town Municipal Corporations

Apart from this, the election of the chairman and vice chairman of nine Town Municipal Corporation was also held, while the candidates for chairman, vice chairman in 11 towns have been successful without any opposition.

It should be noted that in 16 out of 25 Town Municipal Corporations of Karachi PPP has won eight seats JI has won six seats and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf PTI has won two seats unopposed.

The PPP has won unopposed in Gadap Town, Malir Town, Ibrahim Hydari Town in Malir District, Lyari Town in South District, Manghopir Town in West District, Baldia Town in Kemari District, Morero Mir Bahar Town and Maripur Town.

JI has won unopposed on the posts of chairman vice chairman in Landhi Town, Model Colony Town of Korangi District, North Nazimabad Town, Gulberg Town, Liaquatabad Town and Nazimabad Town of Central District.

The towns that PTI won unopposed include Saddar Town in South District and Shah Faisal Town in Korangi District.

‘Joined hands with people involved in May 9 riots’

Lambasting JI for supporting PTI, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said that Jamaat-e-Islami has joined hands with people involved in May 9 riots.

Before the voting began, Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani had said that the 173 members who were to vote in favour of Wahab were present inside the hall.

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