JI announces to challenge Karachi mayoral elections in court

Siraj ul Haq blamed local sardars for dire state of Balochistan

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Siraj-ul-Haq on Sunday announced to challenge the Karachi mayor and deputy mayor results in the Sindh High Court.

He alleged that the electoral watchdog showed impartiality in favour of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and demanded re-election for the two slots. 

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Haq alleged that PPP’s new Karachi mayor did not democratically win the election. He also announced to stage a protest sit-in in front of the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on June 23 to restore the “stolen public mandate in Karachi”.

Following the victory of PPP’s Murtaza Wahab as Karachi mayor, his JI rival Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman alleged that 31 of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf counselors were abducted and tortured at a safe house in Karachi.

In his Twitter post, Haq announced to mark Friday as “black day” on the alleged foul play in Karachi. He claimed the elections were influenced by “coercion, police violence and political terrorism”. 

“The candidate with 900,000 votes lost, while the one with only 300,000 votes secured victory in the mayoral election,” he tweeted.

He also reaffirmed Naeem-ur-Rehman’s abduction claims, calling it, “the darkest day in the history of democracy and Karachi”. 

Wahab was elected as Karachi mayor with 173 votes by a show of hands. The JI initially expected to secure 193 votes, but ended up with 161, according to the unofficial results. 

PPP’s Salman Abdullah defeated JI’s Saifuddin in the deputy major election. 

A total of 332 elected members showed up for polling, while 34 members failed to arrive at the Pakistan Arts Council where elections were held. 

According to results issued earlier by the Election Commission of Pakistan for Karachi union council, the PPP emerged as the largest winning party with 104 chairman seats. The PPP has a total of 155 members including those elected on reserved seats.

Meanwhile, the JI has secured 87 chairman seats and has a total of 130 members in the city council.

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