LG Polls: MQM-P cries foul at rigging, threatens to quit coalition govt

KARACHI: MQM-P leader Waseem Akhtar has demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) immediately halt the election process in Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, and Nawabshah, crying foul at the anomalies and rigging in the election process.

“We do not want fingers to be pointed towards the ECP after the way local government elections are being held,” he said while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

Waseem Akhtar said that fair and free elections are not possible in the current atmosphere and said that at some polling stations, there are no ballot papers while voters have also stayed away from the process after violent incidents.

He said that the entire media was running footage of ballot papers being forcibly taken away during the polling, raising questions on the claim of free and fair elections.

He lamented that there was no progress on agreement with PPP and the prime minister has formed a committee to look into the matter. “If progress is not being made on the agreement then we will be forced to decide our future with this government,” he warned.

He blamed that urban centres are deliberately mixed with rural areas to damage the political stake of MQM-P.

“I want to tell Asif Zardari that this is not democracy. There should not be such delimitations that are aimed at damaging MQM-P,” he said and added that Karachi was already counted as half in the population census.

He said that the MQM-P finalized agreements in Centre and province before joining the government. We have joined federal government but will only join the provincial government until the local government Act is being transformed as per the directives of the Supreme Court,” he said.

He reminded the coalition government that it was standing owing to the votes of MQM-P. “They are prime minister, chief minister and ministers due to MQM-P,” he said and warned that if the party’s concerns are not addressed, the coordination committee could take a decision to quit the coalition government.

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