Karachi , June 06 : The PPP on Monday announced it had nominated Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab as its candidate for the city’s mayor slot and Salman Murad for the seat of deputy mayor.
The announcement was made by PPP leader Nisar Khuhro during a press conference in Karachi where he announced the list of PPP nominees for local body seats in Sindh — elections for which are scheduled to take place on June 15.
Meanwhile, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari congratulated the nominees on Twitter.
“Congratulations to all PPP nominees for chairman, deputy chairman, mayor, deputy mayor and towns. The people have expressed faith in the PPP. Now let’s go win the next round and get going with what we do best, serving the people.
“A special thank you to Hyderabad and Karachi for trusting us for the first time. I have full faith that Mr [Kashif] Shoro and Mr Wahab will be the first but not the last PPP mayors of our two great cities,” he said.
Responding to Bilawal, Wahab thanked the PPP leadership and pledged to deliver “to the best of my abilities”.
“I have no words to express my gratitude to [PPP] Chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari, [former] president Asif Ali Zardari, Adi Faryal Talpur sahiba and the entire leadership of the PPP for this honour of nominating me for the position of mayor of Karachi.
“I am a Karachiite — the city is in my veins and nothing would be of greater honour for me but to work for the betterment of our great city. I pledge to deliver to the best of my abilities and take the entire city forward, working with all stakeholders, political and administrative,” he tweeted.
The PPP’s announcement comes a day after the completion of the electoral process for seats reserved for women, labourers, minorities, youth, persons with disabilities and transgender persons in the City Council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), following which PPP emerged as the single largest party in the 367-strong house.
The City Council is comprised of a total of 367 members, including 246 directly elected chairmen of union committees and 121 reserved seats which were allocated to parties on the basis of the number of union councils (UC) they won in the Jan 15 local government elections.
As the result of one UC has been withheld, the house now consists of 366 members and any party having support of 184 members can win the June 15 election for Karachi mayor and deputy mayor.
According to officials, the PPP has emerged as the single largest party in the City Council with a total of 155 seats, including 34 seats reserved for women, five each for minorities, labourers and youth, one for persons with disabilities and one for transgender persons.
The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) is the second largest party with a total of 130 seats, including 29 women, four each reserved for labourers, minorities and youth and one each for persons with disabilities and transgender persons.
The PTI got a total of 63 seats including 14 women, two each seats reserved for labourers, minorities and youth and one each reserved for persons with disabilities and transgender persons.
Meanwhile, the PML-N got a total of 16 seats, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) got four seats and Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) secured one seat that it won in the Jan 15 local government election.
The PPP already got support from PML-N and JUI-F and it got support from a total of 175 members in the City Council.
The JI and PTI also forged an electoral alliance for Karachi mayor and their accumulated number in the City Council is 193.
While the numbers game is clearly in the JI’s favour after it got support from the PTI for the election of Karachi mayor, the PPP has insisted that after May 9 violence, many UC chairmen belonging to the PTI got in touch with them and made clear that they would not vote for the JI candidate.
Fearing horse-trading by the PPP, the JI also moved the Sindh High Court demanding that its all members, especially those belonging to the PTI, be allowed to cast their votes in a free, fair and transparent manner.