MQM-P decides against contesting by-polls

Web Desk
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Senior Deputy Convener Nasreen Jalil presides over the partys Rabita Committee meeting. — Twitter/ @MQMPKOfficial
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan Senior Deputy Convener Nasreen Jalil presides over the party's Rabita Committee meeting. — Twitter/ @MQMPKOfficial

Following the footprints of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally of the ruling alliance, on Sunday announced that it would not contest the by-elections on the National Assembly seats that fell vacant as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified PTI lawmakers after Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had accepted their resignations.

According to a declaration issued by the MQM-P, the party, in view of the country’s current economic situation, decided that it would not take part in the upcoming by-elections.

On January 17, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam–Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazl Ur Rehman also said that the ruling alliance would not contest the by-polls on the vacant seats. Reasons for not contesting the election would also be unveiled soon, he had added.

The decision was made during the Rabita Committee meeting held with MQM-P Senior Deputy Convener Nasreen Jalil in the chair, the statement read. The meeting reached the decision after reviewing the PDM’s request about the by-elections.

Meanwhile, MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui endorsed the decision made by the Rabita Committee meeting.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PDM’s leadership, a few days back, had contacted the MQM-P and requested against contesting the by-polls on the vacant seats in Karachi.

MQM-P boycotted LG polls

On January 15, just hours before the much-delayed local government (LG) polls, the MQM-P announced a boycott of the second phase of the local bodies elections held in seven districts of Sindh — including in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

The party's statement came after it had demanded fresh delimitation before holding the local body elections.

Addressing a conference alongside the party's senior leadership, Dr Khalid Maqbool had said: "The local body elections have already been rigged. Accordingly, we refuse to recognise the polls. We have been fighting for justice until today [January 15]". 

The provincial government also drew the ECP's attention to the delimitations of the constituencies, he had said. But, the ECP turned a deaf ear to all entreaties of the MQM-P, he claimed.