Monday March 04, 2024

Who will be Karachi’s mayor? Hafiz Naeem gets vital PTI support

PTI spokesperson confirms party's decision to back JI, claims PPP involved in pre-poll rigging

May 20, 2023
Jamaat-e-Islamis (JI) Karachi President Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman addresses a press conference in Karachi on October 18, 2022. — Facebook/JI
Jamaat-e-Islami's (JI) Karachi President Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman addresses a press conference in Karachi on October 18, 2022. — Facebook/JI

KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman is in a commanding position to secure Karachi's mayor slot as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced to support him for the coveted post.

A PTI spokesperson confirmed the party's decision to back JI and claimed that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was involved in pre-poll rigging.

The 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.

After the latest development, JI's Hafiz Naeem is in a strong position to be elected as mayor.

However, there is many a slip between cup and lip.

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.

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.

Party position

Following the completion of the direct phase of municipal elections, reserved seats will now be allocated to parties.

This way, the number of members of the house of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will reach 367 after the election on 246 direct seats and the allocation of 121 reserved seats in six categories.

In the city council, 1% of seats are reserved for transpersons (2), 1% for differently-abled people (2), 33% for women (81), 5% for youth (12), 5% for workers or farmers (12) and 5% for minorities (12).

According to the party position achieved so far, of the reserved seats, PPP will get 32 for women, five for youth, five for labourers, five for minority, one for differently-abled, and one for transgender persons on the basis of majority, after which the number of PPP members in the city council is likely to be 144.

On the other hand, JI is likely to get a total of 121 seats after 28 seats for women, four for youth, four for labour and farmers, four for minorities, and one each for differently-abled and transgender people.

Moreover, the PTI is likely to get 20, while the PML-N is expected to secure two reserved seats in the city council, after winning in seven UCs.

Tailing behind the rest are JUI-F with two seats and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and an independent candidate with one seat each.