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National

February 10, 2018

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MQM-P Senate tickets: Authority shifted from Sattar to Siddiqui

KARACHI: As the MQM–P chief Dr Farooq Sattar and the party’s Rabita Committee have been at loggerheads over the allotment of Senate tickets, the rift widened on Friday, as latter wrote a letter to the ECP aimed at wresting authority from the former, media reports say. The letter said the authority to issue party tickets rests with the Rabita Committee, not the party chief.

However, ECP officials in response to the letter have stated that the powers to award tickets rest with the party head or a person nominated by him. The letter sent by the Rabita Committee stated that according to Section 19(a) of the party's constitution, the authority to nominate candidates for election rests with the Rabita Committee. It further adds that the Rabita Committee had in its session finalised the names of candidates for the Senate elections.

It informs the ECP that the authority to write letters to the commission with regards to candidates rests with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and if the power to issue tickets to candidates rested with any individual that power stands withdrawn.

The letter to the ECP comes at a time when the rift between party chief Farooq Sattar and members of the Rabita Committee has widened. Both sides fielded separate candidates for the Senate election. The issue stems from Sattar, wanting to award a Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori, a move which has been opposed by the Rabita Committee.

“I cannot comprehend how Kamran Tessori has this much importance,” said Faisal Subzwari as he spoke to reporters on Friday. The MQM-P leader revealed that Sattar had told the Rabita Committee members that the party would not contest the Senate elections if Tessori did not contest.

During the news conference, Subzwari maintained that Sattar remained the party chief; however, the Rabita Committee enjoyed all the authority. “It is the Rabita Committee which would hand over authority to the convener or party chief,” he added. When asked about the decision to write a letter to the ECP, Subzwari responded: “This decision was taken when we were unable to meet Farooq Bhai at his residence last night.” Earlier in the day, Sattar had maintained that he would award tickets to Senate candidates. "If a leader is responsible for taking the party ahead, he should also be given authority," Sattar said. "This can't be the case that all failures are due to the leader, while he has got no authority," he added. Sattar announced that he would chair a meeting of the Rabita Committee for the party’s Senate nominees at 7pm.

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