Home Global Village Rabita Committee says Farooq Sattar’s cannot alone nominate candidates for Senate Elections

Rabita Committee says Farooq Sattar’s cannot alone nominate candidates for Senate Elections

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News Analysis |

The divide between the two factions of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has deepened after the Rabita Committee’s press conference on Friday, stripping MQM-P Chief Farooq Sattar off his power to nominate candidates for the 3rd March Senate elections. Two days earlier, two MQM groups, the Rabita committee and Sattar’s PIB group, nominated separate candidates for the elections.

A meeting of the Rabita Committee was held at MQM-P’s temporary Bahadurabad headquarters on Friday and decided to strip away Sattar’s discretionary power to nominate candidates and to delegate this power to the Party’s Deputy Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

MQM-P leadership has failed to be united since August 2016 because of the absence of the binding force to keep party united. In this scenario, Farooq Sattar has not been able to unite the whole party.

Sattar was not removed from the status of the Convener of the party but the committee stated in the press conference that according to Article 19-A of Party’s the constitution, the authority to nominate candidates for election rests with the Rabita Committee.

Faisal Subzwari said that he was perplexed at Sattar’s stubbornness in giving so much importance to Kamran Tessori, the jeweler turned politician, who was among one of the candidates nominated by Farooq Sattar for MQM’s Senate seats. The Rabita Committee has written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He said, “I cannot comprehend how Kamran Tessori has this much importance.” The MQM-P leader revealed that Sattar had told Rabita Committee members that the party would not contest the Senate elections if Tessori did not contest.

Read more: MQM-London leader found dead in Karachi

Farooq Sattar has called a general workers’ meeting at 4pm on Sunday 11 February. On Friday, he claimed while speaking to journalists, that the committee’s decision to strip him off his power to nominate is a propaganda tool. He lamented that he did not have the same stick as Altaf Hussain, MQM founder, to keep the party workers in line. Later on he announced that he will be making a decision about his leadership on Sunday’s meeting.

Many political experts also believe that the clash over the nomination of senators has revealed the cracks within the party leadership that have existed since the departure of Altaf Hussain from the party.

The whole fiasco started on Monday 5, February, after Sattar insisted on nominating Kamran Tessori for the MQM-P’s Senate seat in the upcoming elections, which was not acceptable to other members of the committee, who claimed that Tessori was surpassing other senior members. MQM leadership is trying to resolve the dispute between Sattar and Rabita Committee but so far they have failed to reach a consensus.

Read more: MQM fails to agree on candidates for Senate elections

The Party’s internal differences demonstrate that MQM-P is following a minus one formula withholding Sattar’s power as Party’s Chief.  Political analysts believe that MQM-P wants to keep Sattar as the ceremonial head of the party without granting him any real powers and Sattar is reluctant to accept the decision and is using his full force to resist the pressure of the Rabita committee.

Faisal Subzwari said that he was perplexed at Sattar’s stubbornness in giving so much importance to Kamran Tessori, the jeweler turned politician, who was among one of the candidates nominated by Farooq Sattar for MQM’s Senate seats.

Many political experts also believe that the clash over the nomination of senators has revealed the cracks within the party leadership that have existed since the departure of Altaf Hussain from the party. MQM-P leadership has failed to be united since August 2016 because of the absence of the binding force to keep party united. In this scenario, Farooq Sattar has not been able to unite the whole party.

It is expected that further divisions among the MQM ranks may appear in the near future.  MQM had earlier lost a number of MPAs and MNAs to Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). Kamal has announced that his party will also be nominating their own candidate for a Senate seat, so MQM may lose one of their four Senate seats to PSP. This will make it even more difficult for Sattar to continue the leadership of the party even after the whole Senate seats nomination saga is over.

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