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April 19, 2019

Bagging 194 votes, Syed Arshad Hasan of MQM-P elected city’s deputy mayor


April 19, 2019

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) candidate Syed Arshad Hasan was elected on Thursday as the Karachi deputy mayor after the by-election for the post was held at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) head office.

Bagging 194 votes, the MQM-P’s candidate defeated Karamaullah Waqasi, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate, who secured 78 votes.

Of a total 300 members of the KMC City Council, 281 cast their votes in the election, resulting in the polling ratio of 93.7 per cent. There was one-to-one contest between Hasan and Waqasi in which the former won with a comfortable margin. Nine votes were rejected during the counting process.

The polling started at 9am and continued till 5pm at the council hall of the KMC Building after which counting of votes started. The results were announced by the returning officer, South Deputy Commissioner Salahuddin.

The first vote was cast by Aman Afridi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, whereas, the last voter was MQM-P’s Khurram Farhan.

The election process were monitored by KMC Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, Garden Assistant Commissioner Fazal-e-Rabbi and others. Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani was also present on this occasion.

The polling was held in a friendly environment. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar cast his vote at 2:45pm. Before that he visited both the elections camps of the MQM-P and the PPP and especially talked with PPP leaders Najmi Alam and Waqasi about election arrangements.

The arrested City Council members, Mohammad Nauman of Baldia UC-35 and Habib of District East UC-14 were brought to the elections while handcuffed.

Many MQM-P Rabita Committee members and leaders, including Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Deputy Convener Aamir Khan, Khuwaja Izharul Hassan, Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Amin ul Haq, Faisal Subzwari, Shaikh Salahuddin, Shakir Ali, Rehan Hashmi, Chairman District West Izhar Ahmed, Chairman District East Moeed Anwer and others, also visited the election camp of their party.

After having been elected as the deputy mayor, Hasan thanked the City Council members and said despite the fact that he did not have much time before his tenure would end, he would continue to serve the people of the city in whatever limited resources he had.

Mayor’s media talk

Talking to media representatives on the occasion of the deputy mayor by-election, the mayor criticised the Sindh government for keeping powers of the local bodies with itself. He demanded of the federal government to play its role in giving due powers to the mayor’s office.

The country cannot progress nor can democracy be strengthened if the Article 140-A of the constitution is not implemented, Akhtar said. The by-election for the deputy mayor post should have been held 17 months ago and the delay made the system suffer, the mayor remarked.

The mayor was of the view that the feudal mindset did not want the local government system to succeed. He said even the elections for the local bodies were held after the Supreme Court intervened and took suo motu notice on the issue.

Akhtar claimed that the last deputy mayor, Arshad Vohra, had resigned from his office in front of the media but it took 17 months for the by-election to be held. He said he would develop coordination with whoever was elected as the deputy mayor, notwithstanding their political affiliation.

He said he had filed a petition with the Supreme Court for the implementation of the Article 140-A and he was expecting an early ruling on the petition.

He maintained that the judiciary had given a verdict which directed the provincial government to hand over the task of disposing of garbage in the city to the KMC but the provincial government did not comply with it. We have also submitted a request to the high court for the implementation of court orders, Akhtar said.

The mayor also demanded resignation from the Sindh inspector general of police, saying that he was an inefficient officer. He added that if people from rural areas were brought to the city to kill innocent citizens, they should be sent back.

Untrained police officials killed six people, including children, in two years, Akhtar said, adding that in the wake of such incidents, police should be disarmed. Trained police never fired bullets at public, he said.