The Pakistan Peoples Party will make its best possible efforts to protect its mandate given by the people of Karachi in the recently held local government polls and all possible legal means would be used to make sure that the mandate is not stolen.
Sindh Labour and Human Resources Minister Saeed Ghani stated this on Saturday while presiding over a meeting of the PPP Karachi chapter.
He mentioned that the people of the city had given the task to the Peoples Party to serve Karachi and they would do their best to fulfil this duty. He appreciated the hard work of activists and office-bearers of the PPP in all districts of Karachi for winning the local government elections.
Ghani, who is also the PPP’s Karachi president, said his party had emerged as the single largest party in the city after the recently held local government polls. He said the next mayor of Karachi would belong to the PPP on the basis of the results of the polls.
He told the participants of the meeting that the process of legal consultation had started against the illegal decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan to withhold the results of the local government polls in certain union committees of Karachi at the behest of a rival political party.
Ghani said that the PPP had performed very well in the local government elections in every district of Karachi. He advised the activists of the party not to become dejected if the PPP had won fewer seats than their expectations in any district of the city.
Ghani announced that the PPP would fully contest the forthcoming by-elections on nine seats of the National Assembly in Karachi. He said consultation would be carried out before recommending the names of candidates to the top leadership of the party for contesting the upcoming by-elections in Karachi.
The provincial minister recalled that the Peoples Party had fully contested all the polls in Karachi in the past and this tradition would continue in the future as well.
Addressing a press conference at the Sindh Assembly on Friday, had said that the PPP had demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan immediately declare the withheld results of the local government elections in certain union committees of Karachi.
He said no written order had been issued by the ECP to withhold the poll results in six union committees (UCs). He said withholding the poll outcome violated the constitution and relevant laws.
Ghani said verbal instructions to withhold election results in Karachi did not carry any legal value. He told the media that the returning officers had not listened to the successful candidates in the UCs in question before withholding their results.
As per the constitution, election laws and Sindh Local Government Act 2013, only an affected candidate could file an application to challenge the preliminary results of the polls, Ghani said, adding that in the instance of the six UCs, the results of the polls were withheld following the filing of an application by a deputy emir of the Jamaat-e-Islami who was not a candidate in the polls.
The labour minister said the election tribunals should have been approached by the relevant candidates to challenge the poll result in any UC of Karachi instead of directly sending an application to the ECP for the purpose.
He said that in the case of these six UCs, none of their contesting candidates had filed any application to challenge the election results.
Ghani said they had to come to know through the media that election results in another three UCs of Karachi had been withheld where after recounting of votes, the JI’s candidates had lost the polls. He said that withholding of the poll results in these three UCs was also without any lawful basis.
“The Election Commission has been working very well and it shouldn’t be rendered controversial after coming under the pressure of the Jamaat-e-Islami,” said Ghani.
He said it seemed to him that an attempt was being to unduly render controversial the elections in Karachi, which had been quite fairly conducted, after succumbing to pressure from a political party. He, however, clarified that he was not levelling any allegations against the ECP as his demand was in accordance with the constitution and relevant laws.
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