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JI chances of securing Karachi mayor slot in doldrums

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KARACHI: The Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) hopes of securing the Karachi mayor slot seem to be in the doldrums as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh has announced that his party will remain “neutral” during the vote for the coveted slot.

“We do not want to become part of a race in which someone else is winning,” Sheikh said while talking to the media on Monday. The former ruling party’s leader also added that the PTI’s “race” was to rid the country of this “dirty system”.

The opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly said that after they rid the country of the “dirty system” then fresh local body elections should be held in the country under a uniform system and then the PTI will enter the race. “Right now, it is up to the PPP or Jamaat or whoever [gets the seat] we are out of the mayor election.”

Meanwhile, PTI’s union council chairmen have also announced that they would not vote for the JI candidate in the mayoral election.

Elected chairman Asad Aman, told Geo News, that the PTI’s Karachi leadership opposes the decision taken by the central leadership.

“We were not taken into confidence regarding the decision to form an alliance with the JI,” Aman said. But he added that they were with the PTI chairman and against the ruling PPP in Sindh.

“We have taken our decision independently. Close to 40 chairmen will not be in the City Council [of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation] on the polling day,” Aman also claimed. He added that if the PTI chief calls them then they can look into the matter.

While Imran Parwani, another UC chairman, said that they had to respond to their voters, adding that JI’s Naeem lied to the workers after meeting the PTI chief.

Accept mandate of Karachi: Naeem

In a press conference, JI’s Naeem asked the ruling PPP to accept the election results of the local government.

“The PPP is brazenly saying how the elected members will support [JI], The Election Commission should take notice of the statements of PPP leaders,” Naeem said. He added that the ECP should take notice of why a Sindh minister is claiming that elected members will not come to vote.

The PPP and the JI have been vying for the Karachi mayor seat after both parties secure major victories in the local government elections held in the port city earlier this year.

The PPP has become the single largest party with 155 members, including the reserved seats, in the 367-strong house after the LG polls.

Currently, no single party has a simple majority of 179 votes in the house, the count that is needed to ascertain who wins the coveted seat of the port city’s mayor.

As per the latest statistics, the total number of the PPP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) is 175.

On the other hand, the JI has emerged as the second largest party with a total of 130 seats, including reserved seats, while the PTI bagged a total of 63 seats. The alliance between the two parties stands at 193.

But with the recent statement of the PTI Sindh president, it does not seem that Naeem has the full numbers to secure the Karachi mayor seat.

The PPP has been claiming that a “jiyala” will rule the metropolis this time and has selected an unelected candidate Murtaza Wahab for the post of Karachi mayor.

While the JI is pitching Naeem as the candidate for the Karachi mayor.

The election for the Karachi mayor’s slot is scheduled to be held on June 15.

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