Who is Murtaza Wahab?

PPP leader secured 173 votes against JI's Hafiz Naeemur Rehman in Karachi's mayoral elections

News Desk June 15, 2023


Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Murtaza Wahab was elected the mayor of Karachi on Thursday, in a close match against the Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Hafiz Naeemur Rehman.

In the tight contest, Wahab and Rehman were facing each other with Salman Abdullah Murad of PPP and Saifuddin Advocate of JI contesting for the post of deputy mayor.

Wahab won the election for Karachi mayor after securing 173 votes and his rival, Rehman, got 161 votes as per unofficial sources.

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Wahab hails from a political background with his mother Fauzia Wahab a famed politician and information secretary to the PPP as well as the secretary general of its central executive committee.

The now-Karachi mayor pursued his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Karachi and a Bachelor’s of Law (LLB) from Lincoln’s Inn. Shortly after he became an advocate for the Sindh High Court.

Wahab became part of the provincial cabinet of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in April 2015 and was appointed the adviser to the CM on law. A month later, he was given the status of minister.

However, in 2016, the SHC declared his appointment as adviser illegal and revoked his chairmanship of the Board of Governors of Law colleges in Karachi after a petition challenged the number of his years of experience.

A year later, Wahab was elected to the Senate as a candidate of the PPP after party leader Saeed Ghani resigned from the post.

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During the general elections in 2018, he ran for the seat of the member of the provincial assembly (MPA) from Constituency PS-111 (Karachi South-V) but lost to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Imran Ismail.

The same year he was once again instated into the Sindh Cabinet of CM Murad Ali Shah and appointed as the adviser to the CM on law, and Anti-Corruption Establishment.

On August 5, 2021, he was appointed the administrator of Karachi - in charge of leading the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC). He had, however, tried to resign in September 2022 after the SHC’s verdict to stop the KMC tax on electric bills. But the Sindh government refused to accept his resignation.

Wahab was nominated by the PPP for the seat of mayor on June 5, 2023. After his nomination, he expressed gratitude to party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, co-chair Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur. In his inaugural statement, he pledged to fulfil the duties entrusted to him by his party.

“I am a Karachiite — the city is in my veins and nothing would be of a greater honour for me but to work for the betterment of our great city. I pledge to deliver to the best of my abilities and take the entire city forward, working with all stakeholders, political and administrative,” he wrote on Twitter.


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