Pakistan Peoples Party – Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) has allotted party tickets to 150 candidates contesting elections for seats in the national and provincial assembly.
Eighty-five of the seats have been allotted to candidates in Sindh, 35 to candidates in Punjab, 11 to those in Balochistan and 23 to those in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Ghinwa Bhutto, who is the chairperson of the party, will be contesting elections on four national assembly and two provincial assembly seats. Prominent members of the Bhutto family, including Mumtaz Ali Bhutto and Sardar Wahid Bux Bhutto, have announced that they will support Ghinwa Bhutto for NA-207. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has allotted the ticket for this seat to the sister of President Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur.
“This seat belongs to the Bhutto family,” said Ameer Bux Bhutto, the son of Mumtaz Bhutto, who is contesting the elections with Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz. “I had submitted the nomination forms to contest elections for this seat but my elders asked me to withdraw in support of Ghinwa Bhutto,” he explained, adding that he would now contest elections for PS-37, Ratodero.
“Although Fatima Bhutto would not be contesting elections herself, she will be participating in the campaign, particularly in Larkana, to support her party,” said the spokesperson for PPP-SB, Inayat Hussain.
Ghinwa Bhutto is also contesting the elections for PS-36, Larkana. Her late husband, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, won this seat in the 1993 elections as an independent candidate. Benazir Bhutto, who was the chairperson of PPP at that point, had nominated Haji Munawar Abbasi to contest the elections for this seat against her brother. However, her mother, Nusrat Bhutto, started a massive campaign in Larkana to canvass votes for her son who was out of the country in self-imposed exile at the time.
Additionally, Ghinwa Bhutto is contesting the elections for NA-204, Larkana, against PPP’s Ayaz Soomro, who was the former law minister of Sindh. She is also contesting elections for NA-257, Malir, and for NA-248, Lyari. PPP has nominated Shah Jahan Baloch to contest elections for NA-248.
The central executive committee member of PPP-SB, Sikandar Jatoi, who is contesting the elections from PS-38, Larkana, against PPP’s Khursheed Junejo said the party would not make alliances with any other party and would prefer to contest the elections independently. “Khalid Mehmood Soomro of Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazlur Rehman offered to withdraw from the elections in support of Ghinwa Bhutto for NA-207 if we supported him for NA-204, Larkana,” he claimed, adding that the party is still mulling over whether to accept the offer.
PPP-SB has nominated former information secretary Khawaja Ghulam Hussain for NA-253 Malir and Majeed Sial for PS-47 Hyderabad. The same seat is being contested by Sindhi nationalist Ayaz Latif Palijo of Awami Tehreek while PPP has yet to nominate its candidate for this seat.
Additionally, PPP-SB has allotted the ticket for PS-109 Lyari, to Saleem Bozdar, which was won by PPP’s Rafique Engineer in the 2008 elections. PPP has now given the ticket for this seat to a social activist, Sania Naz, who was recommended by the Peoples Amn Committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2013.