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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

Murtaza Wahab wins mayor election, Hafiz Naeem rejects results

30 PTI members did not show up to vote, scuffle broke out after election
A combination of file photos show PPP’s Murtaza Wahab and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman.
A combination of file photos show PPP’s Murtaza Wahab and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman.

Karachi’s local body representatives elected Murtaza Wahab as the city’s mayor on Thursday, as per unofficial results.

Out of a total of 333 votes, Murtaza secured 173 votes, sources told Aaj News. Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman could only manage 160 votes.

Tough competition was expected between Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeem and Pakistan People’s Party’s Murtaza Wahab. JI has nominated Safi ur Rehman and PPP has nominated Salman Abdullah Murad for deputy mayor for which elections will take place on the same day.

Read: PPP emerges ‘victorious’ in towns chairmen, vice chairmen elections

The election took place at the Arts Council auditorium which has been declared a polling station. Doors to the auditorium were closed at 11 am. A total of 367 members are eligible to vote in the election. A control room has been established in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s office in Islamabad.

The PPP has a total of 155 members elected to the KMC, it also has the support of 14 members from the PMLN and 14 members from the JUI-F taking the total to 173. As the doors closed for the start of polling, PPP’s Saeed Ghani said all 173 voters had arrived in the hall.

The JI has a total of 130 seats in the house and was also counting on the support of 62 votes from PTI taking the totla to 192. However, only 159 members showed by the time polling began.

Production orders were issued for PTI members who were imprisoned at the time of the election, and these members were brought to the arts council in handcuffs.

However, 30 members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf failed to show up for the voting by the time doors were closed. Four other members did not show up in time for the vote either.

Scuffle breaks out after election

Workers of Pakistan People’s Party and Jamaat-e-Islami came face-to-face after Murtaza Wahab was elected as the Karachi Mayor in Thursday’s polls.

There was a scuffle between the workers of both parties outside the Arts Council, where the election was held, while they also threw stones at each other.

Vehicles parked outside the Arts Council were damaged during their scuffle. The police have detained several activists from the site.

Police resorted to baton charge to disperse the workers, while Rangers was also involved in helping police in the operation.

Later, JI workers dispersed peacefully and the M Arcani Road was opened for traffic. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers went back.

Reject hostage and capture mandate: Naeem

JI’s candidate for mayor Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman accused the PPP-led Sindh government of using state machinery to influence the outcome of the elections. He also said he rejected the mandate that the PPP had ‘captured through abduction’.

Speaking to the media a few hours after unofficial results became public, Naeem said that he did not have a personal dispute with PPP or Murtaza Wahab but the ‘robbery’ in the elections was unacceptable.

He added that the people of Karachi were desperate for development and that the mayor would be from JI.

Earlier in the day Naeem had said that the JI enjoyed a majority in the KMC.

He also demanded that the ECP should fulfill the legal and constitutional requirements of the election and make sure all PTI members were brought for the election.

‘Historic victory’ of PPP in Karachi mayor elections

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lauded his party workers and leader after victory in mayoral and towns elections.

“PPP achieved a historic victory in Karachi and Hyderabad,” he said in a video statement on Thursday. “It is the first time in history that PPP workers will be the mayors of Karachi and Hyderabad. Therefore, I am grateful to the people of Karachi and Hyderabad.”

After winning the mayoral election, Murtaza Wahab arrived at the Zardari House in Karachi and expressed gratitude to Sindh MPA Faryal Talpur.

“Whether its candidacy or success in the mayoral election, it would have been impossible without your compassion and guidance,” said Wahab.

In a statement, former president Asif Ali Zardari said that the success of the elected representatives was the result of the hard work of the PPP workers.

“I am grateful to PPP Chairman Bilawal and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, who trusted me with such a significant responsibility,” the newly elected city mayor said.

PPP won but democracy lost, says Shah Mehmood Qureshi

The vice chairman of PTI, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, tweeted that the PPP may have won, but democracy has “lost”.

Losing candidate Rehman stated that on the appeal of JI Ameer Sirajul Haq, a “Black Day” would be observed in Karachi on Friday. The party has also planned a large protest at the city’s Noorani Chowrangi.

“The PPP has occupied Karachi mandate, and this selection should be declared nullified,” said JI Ameer Siraj.

He added that the religiopolitical party would adopt all legal methods to protect the mandate of Karachi’s people. “They will go to courts and also organize peaceful protests.”

Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rasheed said: “Rs36 crore [Rs360 million] is not an expensive deal for Karachi’s mayor for PPP. I had already mentioned a week ago that there is a market for buying and selling in Dubai, and in no way will Hafiz Naeem be allowed to become the mayor.”

“Hafiz Naeem faced defeat in the politics of horse trading. The decision now lies with the JI on how to deal with the corrupt and elected representatives who have aligned themselves with the buyers. I hope that JI will stand with the common people as usual and not with the corrupted people.”

How did the voting take place

Voters were called by name one by one in the order of the Urdu alphabet. Voters then had to move to one side according to the candidate who they were voting for. Counting took place once the voters have been divided into these groups.

Every member had to mark their thumb impressions in a register. They were also asked to out in their signatures next to their names and had a mark placed on their thumb in permanent ink.

All voters were be required to keep their orignal CNIC with them to be allowed to vote.

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Murtaza Wahab

Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman

Karachi mayor