RAWALPINDI: PML-N has started the process of selecting candidates for the elections of a mayor and two deputy mayors of the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC).

Five candidates submitted their applications for the seat of mayor and 17 for the two seats of deputy mayor with the PML-N Punjab Chapter.

A PML-N committee comprising Senator Saud Majeed, Adviser to Chief Minister Punjab Zeeshan Raffique, MPA Samiullah Khan, MPA Munsha Butt, Punjab Minister for Zakat and Usher Malik Nadeem Kamran has reportedly interviewed the candidates in Lahore and submitted its report to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who will make the final decision.

A senior PML-N leader, on condition of anonymity, alleged that the selection process was eyewash as the candidates for mayor and deputy mayors had already been selected and the leadership was waiting for an appropriate time to announce the names to avoid unrest in the party.

He explained that the leadership was delaying interviewing applicants for the posts who had deposited the fee which had created unrest among them, forcing the leadership to constitute an interview committee to pacify them.

He added that the fee for the seat of mayor was Rs200,000 and Rs100,000 for those of deputy mayors.

On the other hand, the PML-N Rawalpindi Metropolitan President Sardar Naseem told Dawn that the interviews had been carried out and that the committee had asked the candidates about their plans to solve various problems if they were elected for the respective seats.

He added that the applicants were also asked about their businesses and date of their joining the party.

The names will be announced at an appropriate time because political parties have to be careful when showing their cards, he added.

“Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will make the final selection because he is the president of the party’s provincial chapter and his decision will be accepted by the party,” Mr Naseem said.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2016