MQM-P reiterates call for new delimitation ahead of LG polls

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Claims won’t accept results of elections

Leaders of the ‘rebranded’ Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Friday reiterated its call for new delimitation before holding the local body polls in Karachi and Hyderabad. The much-awaited LB elections are scheduled to be held on January 15.

“If despite our concerns, the elections do take place, then we will not boycott them. However, we will not accept the results of the elections,” MQM-P spokesperson Ahsan Ghauri told media.

The announcement by the Karachi-based party — which expanded its pool of members after merger with Syed Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and its estranged leader Dr Farooq Sattar — came hours after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided to hold the local government elections in the two cities as per the schedule and rejected the Sindh government’s request of postponing the polls, yet again.

Addressing a press conference alongside MQM-P leaders, Barrister Farogh Naseem accused the Sindh government of unfairness while determining the constituencies for the local government polls.

“Under Sindh Local Government Act Section 10 Subsection 1, the provincial government had determined the constituencies for the LG polls, but the constituencies had a disproportional population,” he added.

The constituencies where the MQM-P has vote banks consist of 90,000 people and the others have just 20,000 population, he claimed, adding that it was “injustice” with the populace.

Through the delimitations, the MQM-P vote bank has been downsized by three times, he said and termed it “pre-poll rigging”.

Raising questions over the size of population in different constituencies, Naseem further said that as per the principle the variation of population in the constituencies could not be more than +-10%.

The ECP decided to hold LG polls in Karachi and Hyderabad by using the “proviso of Section 9” of the constitution, he said and argued that the section is not applicable in the case as the provincial government had issued the orders under Section 10 (1).

“Section 9 is not applicable for an order issued under Section 10(1),” he added.

The ECP has no jurisdiction in Section 10 (1), the former law minister added.

Terming the election authority’s order “void”, Naseem said the LB polls would not have legal status.

Speaking at the occasion, MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari said he doubted the transparency of elections following the discrepancies within constituencies.

“It is visible in the constituencies that the population of Nazimabad, Korangi, and Orangi Town is more compared to the seats. In some areas, the population is less and the seats are more.