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December 26, 2007

MQM, PML-Q, PML-F, NPP finalise ‘friendly election adjustments’


December 26, 2007


The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q), Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and National Peoples Party (NPP) have agreed on seat adjustments (or “friendly election adjustments,” as Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim put it) in order to support each other’s candidates all over Sindh for the January 08, 2008 general elections.

This was announced Tuesday by Dr Rahim (former Sindh chief minister and PML-Q chief), and MQM Rabita Committee deputy convener, Dr Farooq Sattar, during a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC).

According to the deal reached between the former ruling coalition partners in Sindh, MQM candidates will contest polls from all 20 national assembly constituencies and 61 provincial assembly constituencies in Karachi, while PML-Q will also field its candidates in NA-239 Karachi and provincial assembly constituencies, PS-89, PS-90, PS-93, PS-114 and PS-126.

It was further decided that MQM’s allies would support its candidates on several national and provincial assembly constituencies in interior Sindh, including NA-219, NA-220, NA-226, PS-45, Ps-46, PS-48, PS-49, PS-24 and PS-1. The MQM will field its candidates separately on several other seats as well. The party will, however, support its allies on all other national and provincial assembly constituencies in Sindh, Dr Sattar said, adding that seat-adjustment efforts were also underway in Punjab. All deals have the full support and backing of PML-F chief, Pir Pagaro, he said.

Several constituencies, including NA-204 Larkana, NA 207 Qanbar Shadad Kot, NA-218 Matiari, NA-231 Jamshoro, PS-11 Shikarpur, PS-21 Noushero Feroz, PS-34 Khairpur, PS-36, 38 Larkana, PS-40 Qanbar Shadad Kot, PS-43 Matiari, PS-47 Hyderabad, PS-71 Jamshoro and PS-86 Thatta would remain open for all allies, Dr Sattar said.

Former federal minister for ports and shipping, Babar Khan Ghouri, boasted that the polls would reveal

how much support the MQM currently has in interior Sindh.

On the other hand, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim said that the PML-Q had fielded candidates across Sindh, thus showing that it has roots and vote banks in interior Sindh. “Benazir Bhutto’s claim about the PML-Q having no support among the masses in interior Sindh is wrong. This is the first time ever that we have 26 candidates from national assembly constituencies and 61 candidates from provincial assembly constituencies in Sindh,” he said.

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