Jailed MQM leader takes oath as Karachi mayor today
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By Hasan Mansoor | 8/30/2016 12:00:00 AM
KARACHI: The mayor-elect of Karachi, Waseem Akhtar, of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, who won the Aug24 mayoral election from prison, is among four mayors and 200 chairmen of as many municipal bodies across Sindh who will take oath of theiroffices on Tuesday (today).

Besides Mr Akhtar, the mayors and deputy mayors of Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana would also be taking their oath today.

District and Sessions Judge (South) Imdad Hussain Khoso will administer the oath to the new Karachi mayor and deputy mayor Arshad Vohra at a ceremony to be held at Gulshan-i-Jinnah (Polo Ground).

On Monday, Judge Khoso ordered the jail authorities to produce the jailed mayor-elect Akhtar on Tuesday morning for his oath-taking ceremony.

Mr Akhtar became the first person in the country to have won the mayoral election from prison with a comfortable margin against his rival candidate pitted by a six-party alliance formed to contest against the city`s dominant political force, the MQM.

According to official results, Mr Akhtar had secured 208 out of 294 votes polled last Wednesday. His rival, Karamullah Waqasi of the Pakistan Peoples Party bagged 86 votes.Deputy mayor-elect Arshad Vohra had obtained 205 votes against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz`s Amanullah Afridi`s 89 ballots.

Tanvir Zaki, the provincial election com-missioner, told Dawn that the KMC Council is consisted of 305 members 231 men and 74 women. He added that of the 294 votes polled, 222 were male members and 72 female councillors.

Soon after the unofficial results were compiled by the polling staff at the old KMC building, Mr Akhtar had thanked the people of Karachi and congratulated them at a media talk, adding the inhabitants of the largest city of the country finally got elected their mayor and deputy mayor for whom they had voted overwhelmingly despite hard situations.

He demanded the Sindh government to make arrangements for his office at the jail from where he could do his job for the betterment of the city.

Advocate Mahfooz Yar Khan, an MQM lawmaker, said he hoped that the jailed mayor would open an office in prison and establish a video link during sessions of the KMC Council from where `he can run Karachi for five years` `He [Mr Akhtar] is the first Pakistani who got elected as mayor from jail.

However, several mayors in east European countries have done it this year,` said a political commentator.

Also on Tuesday, the respective sessions judges would administer oath to the chairmen and vice chairmen of the city`s six district municipal corporations (DMCs) and the Karachi District Council.

According to Mr Zaki, there are a total of 218 large municipal bodies otherthan union committees and union councils in Sindh where elections for mayors and chairmen were conducted last week.

All the successful candidates in 148 town committees, 36 municipal committees, three municipal corporations, six DMCs, 24 district councils and one metropolitan corporation (in Karachi) would take oath of their offices today.

On Monday evening, Mr Zaki told Dawn that the notification of successful candidates of all 218 municipalities across Sindh would be issued on Tuesday morning before the oath-taking ceremonies.

Most of the major municipalities have been won by the PPP across Sindh, including two DMCs in Karachi and the KDC. In many cases, the party has swept the entire districts.

The MQM kept its influence in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurlchas.Apart from the KMC, the MQM won DMC of East, Central and Korangi districts on its own.

Its chairman initially won the DMCWest election with the support of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, but the returning officer later rejected 24 ballot papers on technical grounds and declared the PML-N`s candidate elected.

Two PTI candidates have won vice chairmen slot in West and South DMCs.

MQM`s Tayyab Hussain won the mayoral election in Hyderabad; while PPP`s Aslam Shaikh and Arsalan Shaikh had been elected as the mayor of Larkana and Sukkur, respectively.

The MQM`s candidates won Mirpurkhas municipal committee while almost all the remaining districts were secured by the PPP candidates, which included the six-vote victory in Badin against a son of the PPP`s disgruntled leader Dr Zulfikar Mirza.