KARACHI: Several prominent leaders of various political parties on Wednesday filed their nomination papers for the upcoming local government elections in the city, parties and officials said.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which traditionally dominates the political scene of the city, has fielded several heavyweights sending a clear message that despite having serious objections over the ongoing targeted operations in Karachi it will not boycott the Dec 3 local government polls as it did in 2001.
Former city mayor and the MQM’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar was the party’s entry into the local political scene.
He filed his nomination form for the seat of chairman of the Union Committee No 19 in PIB Colony, district East.
Other prominent figures from the MQM included former and present lawmakers, Aminul Haq (UC-26, Al-Noor, Central), Waseem Akhtar (Lines Area, East), Rehan Hashmi (UC-2, North Nazimabad, Central), Zareen Majeed (PIB Colony), Muhammad Hussain (Orangi Town), Salman Mujahid Baloch (Baldia Town).
Interestingly, the only well-known political figure the Pakistan Peoples Party, which rules Sindh province, has fielded is its Karachi president Najme Alam.
Similarly, city chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, according to a party spokesman, is prominent among its candidates for the city.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Syed Hafeezuddin told Dawn the party fielded Imran Ismail, who shot to fame when he contested — and lost — the NA-246 by-election against the MQM. Others included city PTI chief Ali Zaidi and Firdous Shamim.
The Awami National Party did not share the names of its nominees but supported the JI’s demand to extend the deadline for the filing of nominations for two more days.
Similarly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders said they would share the names of its candidates with the media on Thursday (today).
Over 7,000 filed nominations in six Karachi districts
More than 7,000 candidates filed their nominations papers for the slots of chairman, vice chairman and councillors for 213 union committees and 23 union councils in the six districts of Karachi division on Wednesday.
The union committees are for urban parts of the Karachi division, while the union councils represent rural areas of the metropolis.
The third phase of the LG elections would be held in Karachi on Dec 3.
Wednesday was the last day of filing nominations papers. Although the cut-off time for filing nomination papers was 4pm, an abnormal rush of aspiring candidates was witnessed at the offices of the returning officers, compelling the election authorities to allow all those persons present on the premises to submit their papers after the 4pm deadline.
Till our going to press, 2,458 nomination papers were filed against 318 seats of chairman, vice chairman and councilors in the district West; 1,938 filed their candidatures for 306 seats of Central district; 1,572 against 186 seats in East district and 971 forms were filed against 186 seats of South district.
Officials were compiling the final figures for Malir and Korangi districts as well as district council Karachi till late in the night.
According to the election schedule, scrutiny of nomination papers would be carried by the respective ROs from Thursday (today), which would be completed by October 13; appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination forms by the ROs would be filed by October 30 and all such appeals would be decided by the respective tribunals by November 11.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 6 and the final list of candidates would be published on November 7.
Polling for the first phase of the LG election in eight districts of the Sukkur and Larkana divisions would be held on October 31.
Similarly, the polling for the second phase would be held on November 19 in 15 districts of three divisions of Sindh — Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas.
Seven nomination forms accepted in Hyderabad
Acting on the orders of the Sindh High Court, two returning officers have accepted the nomination forms of seven candidates for the upcoming local government elections in Hyderabad district.
The candidates had moved the SHC through constitutional petitions stating that the ROs had not allowed them to submit nomination forms for political reasons. The court directed the ROs to receive their forms and carry out their scrutiny.
Most of the seven candidates belong to Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan.
Six forms were accepted by RO Shakeel Abro while RO Qamaruddin Sheikh accepted only one form. He rejected four forms.
In all, seven forms were accepted on Wednesday after scrutiny.
Published in Dawn, October 8th , 2015