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PoK vote led to MQM withdrawal

world Updated: Jun 30, 2011 00:41 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has broken away from the ruling coalition government after a fallout over elections for Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) constituencies.

The MQM is miffed at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for having postponed elections in Karachi. This resulted in a few MQM ministers resigning from the cabinet this week.

The Governor of Sindh, a nominee of the MQM, also resigned.

The ECP said it was apprehensive about holding elections in Karachi because of the tense law and order situation in the city. But the MQM was not convinced by this explanation.

"Earlier, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had asked us to stand for two seats in PoK and not three, but we refused. This is what we got in return," said MQM spokesman Faisal Raza Abidi.

This time, the PoK elections have been particularly violent.

Two people died in election-related violence and fights broke out at several polling stations across the country.

The PPP won 19 of the 36 seats but rival parties have accused the government of rigging, vote buying and forced results.

The PPP levied the same accusations at the Opposition. The ECP has remained silent to the allegations of irregularities in the voting process. It claims the polling was conducted in accordance to rules.