The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is likely to win the mayor and deputy mayor positions in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), but it may suffer a blow in three District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) as joint opposition parties’ candidates, belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP) have majority votes. The elections are scheduled for August 24.
The MQM is also likely to emerge victorious in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC) elections for mayor and deputy mayor, having secured 79 votes. The party has nominated former MNA Syed Tayyab Hussain as its candidate for mayor of HMC while Sohail Mashhadi, a former MPA, on the slot of deputy mayor. PPP has nominated Pasha Qazi and Hasan Ali Jatoi for mayor and deputy mayor.
In Mirpurkhas, PPP’s Mir Anwar Talpur and Mir Ahmed Khan Talpur have won unopposed the district council chairman and vice-chairman slots. Meanwhile, MQM has dominancy in the municipal committee, which comprises 51 votes. “MQM has 47 votes against PPP, which could only win 24 seats,” said a local Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) official, adding that MQM candidates Farooq Durrani and Fareed Ahmed may defeat PPP’s Nawab Qureshi and Umer Baloch.
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According to ECP officials, PPP candidates Jan Mohammad Baloch and Abdul Khaliq, who are contesting for chairman and vice-chairman seats in DMC Malir in Karachi, have been elected unopposed.
In District South, the joint opposition parties have fielded Malik Fayyaz of PPP for chairman and PTI’s Mansoor Shaikh for vice-chairman against MQM’s Israd Ali and Parveen. In this district, the PML-N has five seats and the party has been divided in two groups. One group, comprising three members, supports MQM while the other stands with the joint opposition. There are a total 47 seats in District South, wherefrom MQM has bagged 16 seats and has the support of the three PML-N members. Meanwhile, PPP has 22 seats, PTI has three seats, JI has one and PML-N’s splinter group has two seats. It is likely that the joint opposition parties’ candidates can win the chairman and vice-chairman slots with 28 votes.
In District West, the MQM has fielded Izharuddin as chairman and Gul Faraz Khan as vice-chairman. Meanwhile, the joint opposition parties have given the slot of chairman to PML-N’s Mohammad Asif Khan and the vice-chairman’s seat to PTI’s Azizullah Khan Afridi. There are a total 46 seats in this district, of which 22 belong to the MQM while joint opposition has 24 seats.
PML-N candidate Asif Khan said that his party has won nine seats in the local government election and, for the first time, it will win the chairman’s seat with the help of the opposition parties.
On the other hand, MQM’s mayoral and deputy mayoral candidates, Wasim Akhtar and Arshad Vohra, have a strong position in KMC, which comprises 320 seats. The joint opposition has fielded PPP’s Karmullah Waqasi for the mayor’s slot and PML-N’s Amanullah Afridi as deputy mayor. For the first time, MQM’s candidate, Akhtar, will contest the election of mayor from the confines of jail. Akhtar has been nominated in several cases of hate speech.
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Meanwhile, the MQM has swept District Central unopposed, where 50 seats belong to the MQM while the PPP has won only one. According to ECP officials, MQM candidates Rehan Hashmi and Syed Shakir Ali, who were contesting the polls for chairman and vice-chairman, have already been elected unopposed.
The party has strong positions in Korangi and East districts as well. In District Korangi, the MQM has nominated Nayar Zaidi and Rukunuddin as chairman and vice-chairman. Meanwhile, PTI’s Taufeeq Ahmed and PML-N’s Chaudhry Khalid are contesting the election against the MQM candidates.
In District East, joint opposition candidate Zulfikar Qaimkhani is contesting against MQM’s Moeed Anwar.
There are 56 seats in District Council, Karachi, which comprises of rural areas of Malir and West districts. The PPP and PTI candidates are contesting against each other in this area.
The PPP has nominated Salman Abdullah Murad for chairman and Rafique Jat for vice-chairman, who have the support of 35 members. Meanwhile, PTI’s candidates for chairman and vice-chairman, Jam Alam Jamot and Latif Rind, have 21 votes. The PPP is likely to win the district council election.