While finalising the names of its candidates, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has started negotiations with leaders of different parliamentary parties in the Sindh Assembly to get their Senators elected unopposed from Sindh.
Reportedly, a deal has been struck between the PPP and its coalition partners over the distribution of seats in the upcoming elections.
Out of 12 seats, seven will be given to PPP, four to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and one to the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F).
Dr Karim Khwaja, a PPP candidate who had applied for two Senate seats, withdrew his nomination papers for the technocrat seat and will contest the elections on the general seat.
Other PPP candidates whose names have been finalised include Raza Rabbani, Saeed Ghani, Mukhtiar Ahmed, Kareem Khawaja, Hafeez Shaikh, Hari Ram Kishori Lal and Muddassir Sehar Kamran.
Meanwhile, leaders of the PML-Q (Likeminded) are crying foul. Talking to The Express Tribune, PML-Q (Likeminded) Senator Ghaffar Qureshi said that PPP leaders, including Federal Minister Khurshid Shah, had approached Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim to withdraw candidates from the elections, but the latter turned down his request.
He added that under the reconciliation policy, they can only support the government’s initiatives, but will not withdraw from their constitutional right to contest elections.
He further said that during the last Senate elections, the PPP had promised to back one of their candidates in these elections.
“Instead of supporting a candidate from our party, the PPP leaders insist [that we] withdraw. We have refused them,” he said.
Qureshi, who belongs to the Mirpurkhas district and is going to retire on March 12, has applied for another term.
“I have not only the support of a few PPP members, but MPAs of other parties will also vote for me,” he said.
“There is polarisation within the ranks and files of PPP in Sindh. We have talked to leaders of National Peoples Party as well. My victory is obvious in the election,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.
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