MURREE, April 16: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is almost out of the political race in NA-50 (Murree and Kotli Sattian), as the election tribunal has disqualified the party’s strong candidate, Ghulam Murtaza Satti.
Mr Satti’s nomination papers were rejected on the appeal of a local resident, who alleged that as an adviser to the ministry of finance he could not contest the election.
Mr Satti held the office of the adviser to Infrastructure Project Development Fund (IPDF) for five years and allegedly earned millions of rupees.
He had also been widely criticised by local PPP workers for holding the office.
The division of rightwing votes and three potential candidates from the rival Abbasi clan had provided Mr Satti with a strong position in the constituency, as he was the only candidate from NA-50 where the Sattis are in a dominant number.
After the tribunal’s decision, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League-N will be more comfortable, especially if the PPP fails to award the ticket to a strong worker.
Instead of a party worker, Murtaza Satti had nominated his wife Fatima Satti as his covering candidate.
However, other PPP workers had also filed their nomination papers. Jabbar Satti, the younger brother of Nisar Satti who was a close associate of Benazir Bhutto, is popular among the PPP workers in the region. Similarly, Nazir Satti, president PPP Murree for last 20 years, is also an option for the party.
The PPP failed to find a suitable candidate for the provincial assembly, and is supporting the PML-Q candidate for the seat.
The rejection of its strong candidate has come as a blow. The party had won both the NA and PA seats in 2002 but lost in 2008 due to lack of contact with the locals.