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Democrats Panel sweeps Karachi Press Club elections


December 27, 2020

The ruling Democrats Panel has swept the annual elections of the Karachi Press Club (KPC), as none of the candidates of the rival United Panel has managed to become a part of the governing body for the 2021 session.

Of the total 1,495 eligible voters of the KPC, 1,185 participated in the balloting. The voter turnout was unusually large and had not been expected because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A large number of banners had been put up inside and outside the press club to instruct the voters to observe all the safety precautions devised in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The polling had opened at nine in the morning and continued until six in the evening. Academic and senior journalist Tauseef Ahmed Khan presided over as the chief election commissioner.

The Democrats Panel’s Fazil Jamili, a journalist associated with the Jang-Geo Media Group, has been elected president and Business Recorder reporter Rizwan Bhatti general secretary of the press club.

According to the results announced by the election committee, Jamili was elected president by bagging 607 votes against the United Panel’s Habib Khan Ghori, a veteran journalist associated with Dawn for several decades, with a margin of 47 votes. The Democrats Panel’s Bhatti secured 844 votes to win the post of KPC general secretary, defeating the United Panel’s Qasim Khan who managed to bag 308 votes.

The remaining office-bearers of the press club who were elected in the polls are Vice President Shazia Hasan of Dawn, Joint Secretary Saqib Sagheer of Jang and Waheed Rajpar of 92 News. All of them belong to the Democrats Panel.

The voters also elected seven members of the KPC’s governing body: Suleman Saadat of Geo, Muhammad Nabeel of BBC, Abdul Aziz Sanghur of Abb Takk News, Abdul Rasheed Memon of Kawish, Hamid Ur Rehman of Dunya News, Farooq Sami of ARY News and Abdul Wasi Qureshi of Aghaz.

All the candidates won their voters through a fierce campaign, visiting the offices of media organisations to meet them and extensively using social media and video messages over the past week, promising to make the KPC an ideal institution and resolve the issues faced by journalists.

After the announcement of the results of the elections, the winning office-bearers congratulated and thanked the voters for their vote and support. For over a decade the Democrats Panel has been winning the press club’s elections, mostly with a thumping margin.