KARACHI, May 29: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has decided not to join a coalition government in Sindh and announced fielding bureaucrat-turned-politician Syed Sardar Ahmed as its candidate for the office of the chief minister against PPP’s Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

Although the PPP does not need support of any party to form a government in Sindh, it had asked the MQM to join it in a coalition.

Mr Shah recently said at a press conference that his party was in contact with the MQM for the formation of a coalition set-up.

According to sources, most members of the newly-formed coordination committee of the MQM were against joining the government and had convinced the party chief Altaf Hussain not to accept the PPP offer, at least for now.

“We are not against the politics of reconciliation, but contesting election for any office is our democratic right and we are exercising it,” said an MQM member. “Anyone desiring to take us on board should seek our cooperation publicly.”

The sources said that as far as the National Assembly was concerned, the Muttahida had no option but to sit in the opposition because the PML-N also enjoyed a simple majority in the lower house of parliament.

The MQM said in a statement on Wednesday that its lawmakers would sit on the opposition benches at the centre and in Sindh. It said Mr Ahmed would contest the election for the post of chief minister scheduled for Thursday. The decision was taken by the coordination committee on the recommendations of the party’s parliamentary committee.

The statement, however, did not say nothing about the PPP offer and whether Mr Hussain had endorsed the decision.

GOVERNOR: The MQM explained its position with regard to the Sindh governor, saying a decision about the post would be taken by the federal government. Neither Mr Hussain nor the coordination committee was considering anything about the office of the governor, the statement said.

“Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad is a representative of the federation and he is serving only in this capacity. He had resigned as a member of the MQM before taking oath as governor and, therefore, any decision whether to retain him (as governor) or not will be taken by the federation,” it said.

PARLIAMENTARY LEADER: The MQM announced that Dr Farooq Sattar would be the party’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly and Rashid Godial would be his deputy.

Faisal Subzwari would be MQM’s parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly and Khawaja Izharul Hasan deputy leader.

Updated May 30, 2013 08:43am

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