PPP approaches JUI-F to secure Karachi mayor seat

Our Correspondent
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (left) listens to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman during a press conference in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. — AFP
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (left) listens to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman during a press conference in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. — AFP

  • JI's Hafiz Naeem strong contender for mayor's seat.
  • PPP is largest party in Karachi with 98 seats, so far.
  • Even after alliance with JUI-F and PML-N, PPP needs 22 more seats.

With its majority threatened after Jamaat-e-Islami was backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for Karachi mayoral spot, the Pakistan People's Party's (PPP) has approached the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) seeking its support for the mayor slot.

The party's Karachi division has asked JUI-F to support it in the polls for the position of the city's mayor and deputy mayor. Even though both the parties have vowed to work together, the JUI-F will announce its final decision on the matter following a consultation with its central leadership.

PPP Karachi President Saeed Ghani and General Secretary Javed Nagori earlier met JUI-F Sindh General Secretary Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro at his residence to discuss the potential allaince.

The meeting between the two political leaders was focused on the upcoming local elections in Karachi, with discussions on matters relating to various towns and union councils.

Soomro emphasised the JUI-F’s commitment to principled politics, asserting that politicians should always keep the doors of dialogue open. He said that in line with this principle, the party has forged alliances with different political groups.

PTI backs JI

Last week, the PTI extended its support for JI for the coveted Karachi mayor post alleging that the provincial ruling party, PPP, was involved in pre-poll rigging.

Following this development, JI's Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman is in a strong position to be elected as mayor.

PTI spokesperson alleged that the PPP, through the Sindh Police, was “abducting” elected representatives of the party before they can be sworn in.

The Imran Khan-led party contended that the PPP after running away from the municipal elections four times wants to elect the mayor in a hurry.

“PTI has also approached the court on this matter. The mayor should be elected through a transparent process,” said the spokesperson, alleging that the PPP and MQM do not want the public mandate to be accepted.

In the recently concluded Karachi local bodies polls, PPP emerged as the largest party but it failed to secure a simple majority of 179 votes needed for the seat of Karachi mayor.

PPP will need at least 22 seats even after an alliance with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

In terms of the number of seats, PPP is the largest party in Karachi with 98 seats so far, followed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) with 89 seats and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with 42 seats; however, no party has a simple majority.

According to political experts, prospects of putting forward the next mayor of Karachi are bright; however, given that a party needs at least 124 seats (reserved seats not included) in the city council to secure the desired majority for winning the mayoral poll, the party will have to form alliances.