PPP, JI to vie for Karachi mayor slot today

PPP's Salman Abdullah Murad and JI's Saifuddin will face each other for the deputy mayor slot

Kiran Khan

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Murtaza Wahab (left) and Jamaat-e-Islamis Karachi President Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman. — Online/ Facebook/JI/File
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Murtaza Wahab (left) and Jamaat-e-Islami's Karachi President Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman. — Online/ Facebook/JI/File 
  • No single party has a simple majority of 179 votes.
  • The total number of PPP, PML-N and JUI-F is 175.
  • JI-PTI alliance reportedly stands at 193. 

KARACHI: With both claiming Karachi mayorship their “right”, tough competition is expected between Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — the single largest party with 155 members — and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) — which claimed to have 191 council members after coalition with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — for the coveted slot as the polling for the post is scheduled for Thursday (today).

JI’s candidate Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman and PPP’s Murtaza Wahab will face each other for the mayorship while Sindh’s ruling party’s Salman Abdullah Murad will contest against the former party’ Saifuddin for the deputy mayor slot. The polling will be held at the Arts Council of Pakistan.

Currently, no single party has a simple majority of 179 votes in the 367-strong house after the LG polls, the count that is needed to ascertain who wins the coveted seat of the port city's mayor.

As per the latest statistics, the total number of the PPP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) is 175. The PPP has become the single largest party with 155 members, including the reserved seats.

On the other hand, the JI has emerged as the second largest party with a total of 130 seats, including reserved seats, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) bagged a total of 63 seats. The alliance between the two parties stands at 193.

The Sindh’s ruling party claimed that the coveted slot of the port city mayor was the “right” of PPP as it emerged as the largest party during the local body elections in the metropolis. The JI, however, blamed the PPP for rigging.

PPP wins 8, JI 6 TMC seats 

Out of Karachi’s total 25 town municipal corporations (TMCs), candidates on 16 seats returned unopposed, including PPP’s 8 and JI’s 6. While the PTI succeed to win two TMCs unopposed.

While elections in the rest of 9 TMCs will be held tomorrow.

In the previous LG set up, the seven Karachi districts were divided into district municipal corporations (DMCs) but in the new set up, the DMCs have been replaced with 25 TMCs comprising different number of vice-chairmen of union committees as well as members to be elected on different reserved seats.

The port city has now 246 union committees and their elected chairmen represent the KMC’s City Council, which will have a total of 367 members after the indirect election of people on 121 reserved seats.

In the new set-up, there are 246 union committees across the city and their elected chairmen represent the KMC’s 367-member City Council.

In the 367-strong house, the youth, non-Muslims and labourers have 5% seats each, while 1% of the seats have been reserved each for persons with disabilities and transgender persons.

The house of 367 members will elect a mayor and a deputy mayor by a show of hands.

The 25 TMCs will separately elect a chairman and vice chairman from its total members by a show of hands.

According to a notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), PPP’s candidates Arsalan Sheikh and Dr Arshad Mughal elected unopposed as Sukkur mayor and deputy mayor, respectively. Earlier, the ruling party won Hyderabad mayor and deputy mayor elections unopposed too.