Just hours before the holding of much-delayed polls, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has announced a boycott of the second phase of the local bodies (LB) elections being held in seven districts of Sindh — including in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
“The local body elections have already been rigged. Accordingly, we refuse to recognise the polls,” MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said while talking to the media in the wee hours of Sunday.
Dr Siddiqui added that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was formed to conduct the election in a transparent manner. “However, the election commission has not fulfilled its responsibility towards its main function. The party protested against this injustice.”
“We have been fighting for justice until today [January 15]. The provincial government also drew the ECP’s attention to the delimitations of the constituencies,” he said. But, the ECP turned a deaf ear to all entreaties by the Muttahida, he said.
“All the efforts that Muttahida put in were not meant for the mayorship but for the proper representation of the city,” he emphasised.
He went on to say that the city would not acknowledge these elections as “there is no voter list or delimitations properly managed by the ECP”. “Accordingly, the party is withdrawing from today’s local bodies elections in protest,” he said, calling on the citizens of the metropolis to withdraw their right to vote.
The ECP, he also said, did not listen to the MQM-P’s reservations. “Therefore, we will not participate in elections that will not lead to democracy and that will not reflect a mandate,” he said.
The MQM-P leader appealed to citizens to remain at home and participate in the protest. It is because the results of today’s elections are not going to reach the people, he stressed.
According to the party convener, the true heir of the city “will return again”. “The MQM-P will start its concerted and organised work from January 16 [for the general elections],” he added.