The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) recently announced its support for Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman in the upcoming mayoral elections in Karachi. PTI claims that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been involved in pre-poll rigging and that PPP is “abducting” elected representatives of the party before they can be sworn in. PTI has also approached the court on this matter and alleges that PPP and MQM do not want the public mandate to be accepted. According to PTI, the mayor should be elected through a transparent process. This latest development puts Hafiz Naeem in a strong position to become the next mayor of Karachi.
In the recent local bodies polls, PPP emerged as the largest party but failed to secure a simple majority for the seat of Karachi mayor. PPP will need at least 22 seats even after an alliance with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). However, given that a party needs at least 124 seats (reserved seats not included) in the city council to secure the desired majority for winning the mayoral poll, the party will have to form alliances. PPP has 98 seats in Karachi so far, followed by JI with 89 seats and PTI with 42 seats. No party has a simple majority.
Allocation of Reserved Seats to Parties
After the completion of the direct phase of municipal elections, reserved seats will now be allocated to parties. This way, the number of members of the house of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will reach 367 after the election on 246 direct seats and the allocation of 121 reserved seats in six categories. In the city council, 1% of seats are reserved for transpersons (2), 1% for differently-abled people (2), 33% for women (81), 5% for youth (12), 5% for workers or farmers (12) and 5% for minorities (12).
According to the party position achieved so far, PPP will get a total of 48 reserved seats, while JI is likely to get 41 and PTI with 20, respectively. PML-N is expected to secure two reserved seats in the city council after winning in seven UCs. JUI-F with two seats and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and an independent candidate with one seat each round off the list.
Despite the support of PTI, Hafiz Naeem’s election as Karachi mayor may not be certain. There is still a chance that the situation may change. After all, between the cup and the lip, many a slip can occur.