Candidates demand the govt extend the last date for the submission of papers
As the process of submitting nomination forms came to an end on Wednesday, the candidates of all political parties who submitted their forms to contest the local government elections in Karachi scheduled for December 3, demanded the government extend the last date for submission of papers. A large number of candidates have not yet turned up due to the complexity of the forms. A huge crowd of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) candidates were seen at the offices of returning officers in all six districts of Karachi.
Some MQM parliamentarians who had already tendered their resignations from the national and provincial assemblies also submited their forms. According to the election commission, Dr Farooq Sattar has submitted his form from UC 19, PIB Colony, for the slot of chairperson, Wasim Akhtar applied in district East, Zareen Majeed district East, Dr Arshad Vohra district Central, Rehan Hashmi, North Nazimabad, Salahuddin Shaikh and Iqbal Muhammad Ali have submitted their forms in district East.
Similarly, JI Karachi Amir Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman submitted his form in UC 18, North Nazimabad. According to the PPP, hundreds of party candidates have submitted their forms, the most prominent among them are Najmi Alam, Karachi division president, who is contesting from UC 30 Clifton area, and Zufiqar Qaimkhani who has submitted the forms for UC 7 and UC 11 in district East.
The PTI spokesperson said that around 2,200 party candidates are contesting the elections in 218 union committees. Among others who have submitted their forms for chairperson and vice-chairperson include Ali Zaidi, who has tabled his form for UC Soldier Bazaar, Imran Ismail, Aziz Khan Afridi, Dawa Khan Sabir and Umair Khattak.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the provincial election commissioner, Tanveer Zaki, said that thousands of candidates have submitted their forms and they will start the scrutiny of the papers from October 8 to 13. Meanwhile, the date for appeal against the decision of accepting and rejecting the forms is fixed on October 30, while date for withdrawal of the candidature is November 6 and final list of the candidates will he displayed on November 7.
After submitting his nomination papers Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that the JI had also submitted an application before the election commission to extend the last date for at least two more days. “A large number of aspiring candidates have not yet submitted their papers as the form in this regard is quiet complicated,” he said.
The JI leader added that they are willing to bring back the lost glory of Karachi and once again transform the megalopolis into a city of lights as it was earlier regarded. He was of the view that free and fair local government elections are the only way to resolve the miseries of Karachities. He vowed that the JI would serve Karachi with honesty, dignity and transparency.
He stressed the need for holding peaceful, independent and transparent elections and demanded the government take solid steps to ensure foolproof security as well as an environment in which people can vote as per their aspirations.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.