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Parties seek court orders to submit new nomination forms
By Our Correspondent
Published: October 24, 2015
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The 10-party coalition is not willing to let the MQM secure the seats without a contest. STOCK IMAGE

The 10-party coalition is not willing to let the MQM secure the seats without a contest. STOCK IMAGE

HYDERABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is not going to win hands down the seats in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on which its candidates returned uncontested, it seems. Four political parties, which are represented in the 10-party Tameer-i-Hyderabad Ittehad, have gone to court, praying it to order the district returning officer to accept their fresh nomination forms.

Four office-bearers of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) filed a petition in the Sindh High Court on Thursday. But the notices to the respondents could not be issued. “The court is likely to take up the case next week,” said the PPP’s Zahid Bhurgari and JI’s Hafiz Tahir Majeed, while speaking to the media in the court’s premises. Both are district heads of their respective parties.

The MQM’s candidates for chairperson and vice-chairperson won unopposed from 22 of the 96 union committees in the HMC, where polling will be held on November 19. Meanwhile, the Ittehad candidates for 11 UCs did not file their nominations, the ROs rejected their forms from seven UCs and from six UCs, they withdrew.

The coalition alleged that the MQM used threats to harass their candidates while the ROs favoured that party and prevented their candidates from contesting the elections.

“Being a part of different governments for the last 25 years, the MQM has succeeded in inducting its own workers and activists in various [government] departments,” the petition reads. “The candidates of the Ittehad were compelled, pressured, threatened and terrorised to keep them away from the filing of nomination papers and even withdraw.”

The petition maintained that by bringing its candidates unchallenged, the MQM has deprived the voters of those constituencies from exercising the right to vote.

The petitioners intend to field the candidates on most of these vacant seats if the SHC accepts their plea. They have based their petition on an October 6 order of the SHC’s principal seat in Karachi.

The SHC had directed the DRO and ROs to accept the nomination forms of the petitioners who belonged to the JUP-Awais Noorani group. The last date for filing the forms was September 17 while the process of scrutiny completed on October 4 and the final list of candidates was displayed on October 15.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.