- Committee writes letter to ECP, saying authority to issue party tickets rests with committee, not Sattar; however, commission says only party chief can nominate candidates
- Sabzwari says decision was taken after committee members failed to meet Sattar on Thursday night
KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday scuttled the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Rabita Committee’s move to ostensibly sideline Dr Farooq Sattar by stating that only the party chief or a person nominated by him could award Senate tickets.
The development comes after the Rabita Committee authorised party leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to award Senate tickets and communicate with authorities over the upcoming elections.
MQM-P leader Faisal Sabzwari said that the committee leaders decided to write a letter to the ECP after they were unable to meet Sattar at his residence on Thursday night to break the deadlock over the names of the candidates, particularly Kamran Tessori, for the upcoming Senate elections in March.
In the letter written to ECP, the MQM-P Rabita Committee stated that the authority to issue party tickets rests with the committee, not the party chief.
“According to Section 19(a) of the party’s constitution, the authority to nominate candidates for election rests with the Rabita Committee,” the letter said, adding that the Rabita Committee had in its session finalised the names of the candidates.
However, the ECP officials in their response stated that the authority to issue tickets rests with the party chief or a person nominated by him.
On Thursday, Sattar and Rabita Committee had submitted separate lists to the ECP, naming the aspirants for the Senate seats.
SABZWARI BAFFLED BY SATTAR’S ATTITUDE:
In a press conference on Friday, Faisal Sabzwari told journalists the ultimate decision-making authority always rested with the Rabita Committee which empowers the party chief to act on its behalf.
Sabzwari reiterated that if the party chief’s decision was against the party policy then he [including Rabita Committee] would be unable to accept those decisions.
However, Sabzwari hoped for the matter to be resolved at the earliest in order to avoid further damage to the party. He said that he could not understand who was advising Dr Sattar.
Sabzwari also questioned the importance of Tessori to Sattar, saying that “no one in the party could understand the importance of Tessori in the party”.
SATTAR TO VISIT BAHADURABAD HQ:
He alleged that Sattar had told the committee members that if Tessori will not contest then the MQM-P will not contest Senate elections either.
Earlier in the day, Dr Sattar after consulting his aides in the afternoon announced that he would visit the party’s Bahadurabad office later during the day.
Addressing a presser outside his residence in the PIB Colony, Dr Sattar said that he would chair a Rabita Committee’s meeting over the Senate nominations at 7 pm. However, he did not show up at the Bahadurabad office.
“If a leader is responsible for taking the party ahead, he should also be given authority,” asserted Sattar, adding that, “This can’t happen that all failures are due to the leader, while he has got no authority.”
However, he maintained that he would award tickets to the Senate candidates.
Sattar has also been complaining about the lack of powers as the party chief, especially after the open revolt of the Rabita Committee over the nomination of Kamran Tessori as the party candidates for the elections.
A party meeting, held late Monday, ended in chaos as Sattar and Amir Khan disagreed over the nomination of Kamran Tessori as MQM-P’s candidate for Senate. Following the disagreement, Sattar and his supporters left the Bahadurabad venue for his residence in PIB Colony amid chants in the party chief’s favour.
Negotiations between both camps yielded no breakthrough as party leaders opted for expressing their grievances openly through separate press conferences today.
Both factions of the party have also submitted separate nomination papers of their candidates while maintaining that a number of nominated candidates will be withdrawn after reaching a breakthrough on the issue.