Ex-CM Sardar Mehtab Khan among 12 candidates for Islamabad Mayor’s seat

183

Zubair Qureshi

Election Commission of Pakistan has released a revised list for the election of Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad’s (MCI) Mayor’s office.
According to the ECP list, there are in total 12 candidates vying for the coveted post and the appellate authority has reinstated the nomination papers of one of the four candidates rejected by the Returning Officer, Sajid Abbasi.
However, rejection of the remaining three candidates’ papers namely, Rafat Javed, Khurram Bakhtiar, and Mohammad Rafique, by the Returning Officer (RO) has been upheld.
Following this phase, Returning Officer Naeem Ahmed on Saturday released a revised list of nominated 12 valid candidates.
Among the running candidates include former Chief Minister of NWFP now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Syed Zaheer Ahmad Shah, Malik Amir Ali, Shiraz Kayani, Rifat Azeem, Wasim Sana Malik, Malik Sajid Mahmood, M. Sajid Abbasi, Pir Adil Shah, Azhar Mahmood, Ahmed Khan and Sajid Mahmood Malik.
Of these 12 candidates, seven belong to PML-N, three to PTI and one is an independent candidate.
The mayor’s seat fell vacant in October when PML-N’s supported Sheikh Anser Aziz resigned only days after sending a summary to the Ministry of Interior proposing to hand over the functions of four directorates under the Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to the federal government.
According to the schedule for by-polls announced by the ECP, the returning officer issued a public notice inviting nominations on Dec 9 and the nomination papers were received and scrutinized on Dec 11 and Dec 16, respectively.
Dec 17 was set as the last date for filing appeals against acceptance or rejection of the nomination papers which were to be decided by the appellate authority by Dec 18. While talking to Pakistan Observer, a number of councilors of the PTI and PML-N expressed confidence their candidate would be easily elected on the Mayor’s office. Dec 21 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature and the final list of candidates with election symbols will be published the following day.
Polling will take place on Dec 28 and the results would be announced on Dec 29.
With a view to ensuring that the polls are conducted fairly and in accordance with the law, the ECP has directed executive authorities not to use state resources to influence the elections in favour of a particular candidate or a political party.
If a person in the Government service misuses his official position in any manner in order to influence results of elections, he shall be proceeded against under Section 58 of the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015, reads code of conduct issued with the poll schedule.
It also makes it clear that a public office holder found to have violated a provision of election laws or the instructions issued by the commission, shall be proceeded against as mandated by the law.