LAHORE - The incumbent Lahore Gymkhana Club Chairman Mian Misbahur Rehman was re-elected as chairman on Thursday after one of the toughest competitions in recent years.
According to details, the panel led by renowned businessman Mian Misbahur Rehman won only six seats, just one more than the other panel led by retired bureaucrat Ziaur Rehman. Besides members belonging to the two panels, an independent candidate Qamar Khan won a seat to the 12-member management committee.
According to results announced late on Thursday, Misbah grabbed maximum number of votes 1,136, followed by Ziaur Rehman from the other panel who bagged 1,014 votes. Moreover, voting detail of other members from Misbah's panel who won include Khawaja Imran Zubair with 873 votes, Samaira Nazir Khan with 863 votes, Pervaiz Bashir Agha with 817 votes, Khalid Ikram Malik with 841 votes and Zia Haider Rizvi with 899 votes.
Members who won from the Zia's panel are Major (r) Javed Nasrullah with 881 votes, Mian Samiuddin with 972, Dr Atif Kazmi with 869 votes and Samiur Rehman with 760 votes. The results were an "upset" for the panel led by incumbent chairman Misbah, which expected a win with a greater margin, as witnessed last year. However, a total of 2,055 out of 3,900 votes were cast with independent candidate Qamar grabbing 774 votes.
A tense situation arose after the election results were announced to elect a chairman from amongst 12 members. Both panels approached the independent candidate Qamar, the deciding vote, to form their majority and elect a chairman. However, the candidate cast his vote in Misbah's favour, creating a majority of seven to five members and consequently re-electing Misbah to the coveted post. The voting started at 9am, but only a few members could show up until noon owing to thick fog, which enveloped the city and repeated rain showers.
A member, seeking anonymity, said that a lot of office-going members could not show up early due to official timings and showed up after getting free from work. However, people started turning up in large numbers to cast their votes as the day proceeded and the
Hectic lobbying and canvassing for the coveted slot of Lahore Gymkhana Club chairman continued throughout December, with both panels resorting to all methods of attracting a maximum number of voters through dinners, parties and other affiliations. Atmosphere in the Lahore Gymkhana remained charged throughout the day, as supporters of both panels and an individual candidate kept distributing cards to the incoming voters.
A large canopy was set up in the lawn in front of the secretary's office where voters kept sitting until evening. Misbah himself has remained Lahore Gymkhana Club chairman thrice. He has also held the posts of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) president, Pakistan pharmaceuticals association chairman, besides having remained the president of the Punjab and Lahore chapters of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
He also currently holds the post of chairman Pakistan Sui Northern Gas and is on the board of Pakistan Steel Mills. On the other hand, Zia has also been Lahore Gymkhana Club chairman twice and is a retired federal secretary.