More than 2,398 candidates have filed nomination papers to contest elections in the district council, municipal corporation, 26 union committees, 37 union councils and four town committees in Sukkur.
According to the details received so far from the returning officers, 340 candidates have filed nomination papers for the positions of chairperson and vice-chairperson of the district council, 203 for the membership of the district council, 283 for the membership of town committees, 141 for the membership of municipal committees, 676 for the membership of union councils and 755 candidates have filed papers for the membership of union committees.
Farukh Shah, the son of National Assembly opposition leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, has filed nomination papers for the chairpersonship of the district council of Sukkur, while Senator Islamuddin Shaikh's son, Arsalan Shaikh, has filed papers for the mayorship of the Sukkur Municipal Corporation.
Similarly, Sindh local government minister Nasir Hussain Shah's son Kumail Shah has filed papers for the chairpersonship of the Rohri Municipal Committee and former MPA Dr Nasrullah Baloch and former taluka nazim Rohri, Aslam Shaikh, are also in the run.
Due to the weaker presence of other political parties in the area, such as the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League - Functional, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Jamat-e-Ulema Islam, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and others, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has the edge and there are chances for some of its candidates to get elected, unopposed. The Sukkur Development Alliance has fielded its candidates on several union councils of the city and a large number of independent candidates have also filed their nomination papers, which might pose a threat to the PPP candidates.
As far as the Ghotki district is concerned, the Mahar brothers are likely to make a clean sweep in three talukas, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo and Khangarh, while in other talukas, including Daharki Ubauro, a neck and neck fight is expected between the men of Khalid Loond, Ali Gohar Mahar and Jam Mehtab Dahar. Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar, Ali Muhammad Mahar, Khalid Loond and others have fielded their sons and nephews for the slot of chairpersonship of the taluka municipal committees.
Due to the actions of the Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Establishment and the arrest of high-profile figures in politics and the bureaucracy, people are still uncertain whether or not the local government elections will be held. People are of the view that the first step must be to remove corruption from politics and the bureaucracy and then elections should be held, otherwise scions of the corrupt politicians will be elected and thus the chain will go on.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2015.
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