KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan will decide its candidate for the office of deputy mayor after the Election Commission of Pakistan notifies the disqualification of Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra for switching parties after being elected to his position.
Mr Vohra, elected chairman of a union council, had become deputy mayor on the MQM-P ticket. Later, he joined the Pak Sarzameen Party, infuriating his former party, which then moved the ECP.
City Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who belongs to the MQM-P, told Dawn on Thursday that the party was making deliberations in that regard and a decision would be taken shortly after the ECP issued a notification for Mr Vohra’s disqualification.
He, however, said that the party’s nominee for the post of deputy mayor would be capable of handling the business of the city’s municipal administration.
Mr Vohra switched parties and joined the Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party on Oct 29, 2017 stating that he was not able to deliver to the people of Karachi.
The then MQM-P convener, Dr Farooq Sattar, had gone to the ECP seeking disqualification of Mr Vohra under the Local Government Act 2013.
He contended that Mr Vohra was elected as deputy mayor on the MQM-P ticket and he did not relinquish his office after changing loyalty to the PSP, which is a sheer violation of the constitutional laws.
The ECP on Wednesday pronounced Mr Vohra disqualified for switching parties after being elected to his position.
The ECP had reserved the decision on the petition seeking disqualification of Mr Vohra on the last hearing of the case. The chief election commissioner, heading a three-member bench, read out the already reserved verdict on Wednesday.
Mr Vohra, an industrialist and former chairman of the SITE Association, was an MPA from the PS-115 constituency before he contested and won the local government election.
He is also facing a case of money laundering in an anti-terrorism court.
Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019