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KARACHI: United Business Group (UBG) has rejected the nominations for the election commission for the upcoming election of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and demanded election under the supervision of the Director General of Trade Organizations (DGTO) for free and fair elections.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Saturday, Zubair Tufail President UBG, Khalid Tawab Chairman Sindh Zone and Hanif Gohar Secretary General BMG Sindh have jointly appealed to the DGTO for immediate legal action against the present management of FPCCI for illegal actions, mismanagement, and biased decisions made during the recent Executive Committee Meeting of FPCCI.

On the occasion, Abdul Sami Khan, Gulzar Feroz, Malik Khuda Bakhsh, Dr Ikhtiar Baig, Mumtaz Ahmed, Zahid Iqbal Chaudhry, Ikram Rajput and other members of Executive Committee of FPCCI and office bearers of trade bodies were also present.

UBG leaders said that the sitting management of FPCCI has adopted wrong procedure for the formation of the Election Commission, deviating from established norms of the Trade Organizations Act (ToA), Trade Organizations Rules (ToR), and FPCCI’s Articles of Association.

The formation of an election commission through show of hands was inconsistent with customary procedures, where mutual consent typically dictates its formation, they added.

“The election commission was formed through a show of hands, raising concerns among the executive members, as it departed from regular practice,” they added.

Khalid Tawab, Chairman Sindh Zone said that BMG also submitted three names for the election commission; however the ruling group has made a biased election commission for the next FPCCI election.

He said that even executive members’ objections to this decision were overruled by the FPCCI management. If an election commission was to be formed through an election, it should be through a secret ballot. Conducting it across multiple stations via video conferencing was irregular, he added.

Hanif Gohar Secretary General BMG Sindh said that as witnessed in previous elections, the proposed election commission has always shown partiality and many of their decisions were contested at the DGTO office and High Courts, with several overturned rulings still pending.

Given these circumstances, he said that the Executive Committee members are requesting DGTO intervention to prevent the formation of a controversial election commission by the present FPCCI management.

“Therefore, we are demanding the elections for FPCCI be conducted under the direct supervision of the DGTO team,” he said.

He informed that the Executive Committee meeting was scheduled for October 13, 2023 and conducted via video conferencing across various cities.

Notably, a considerable number of non-Executive Committee members were also allowed to participate in the meeting as special invitees, in direct violation of the DGTO’s orders.

Individuals like Anjum Nisar, Shahzaib Akram, Mohammad Ali Main, Mirza Abdul Rehman, Sartaj Ahmed Khan, Amjad Rafi, Zakria Usman, Khurram Sayeed, Saquib Fayaz Magoon, and Sheikh Aslam were among those who participated, Gohar informed.

The meeting notice was issued without providing working papers for the agenda items and working papers were distributed to Executive Committee members only one or two days before the meeting.

He mentioned that agenda items 7 and 8 of the meeting notice pertained to FPCCI elections for 2024-25, with no working paper provided for agenda item 8, which concerned the formation of an election commission.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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