The ruling Democratic Panel has wiped out the annual Karachi Press Club (KPC) elections, as no candidate from the rival United Panel has managed to become part of the governing body for the 2021 session.
Of the total 1,495 eligible voters from the KPC, 1,185 participated in the voting. The turnout was huge and it was not expected because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A large number of banners have been installed inside and outside press clubs instructing voters to observe all safety precautions designed to deal with the new coronavirus outbreak.
Voting opens at nine in the morning and continues until six in the afternoon. Senior and academic journalist Tauseef Ahmed Khan presides over as chief election commissioner.
Fazil Jamili of the Democratic Panel, a journalist associated with the Jang-Geo Media Group, has been elected president and reporter for Business Recorder Rizwan Bhatti, secretary general of the press club.
According to the results announced by the election committee, Jamili was elected president with 607 votes against United Panel’s Habib Khan Ghori, a veteran journalist with whom Dawn has been involved for decades, by a margin of 47 votes. Bhatti of the Democratic Panel won 844 votes to win the post of secretary general of the KPC, beating out Qasim Khan of the Unity Panel who won 308 votes.
The remaining stewards of the press club who were selected in the poll were Vice President Shazia Hasan of Dawn, Joint Secretary Saqib Sagheer of Jang and Waheed Rajpar of 92 News. All of them are members of the Democratic Panel.
Voters also chose seven members of the KPC governing body: Suleman Saadat from Geo, Muhammad Nabeel from the BBC, Abdul Aziz Sanghur from Abb Takk News, Abdul Rasheed Memon from Kawish, Hamid Ur Rehman from Dunya News, Farooq Sami from ARY News and Abdul Wasi Qureshi from Aghaz.
All the candidates won over their voters through fierce campaigns, visited the offices of media organizations to meet with them and extensively used social media and video messages over the past week, promising to make KPC the ideal institution and solving problems faced by journalists.
After the announcement of the election results, the office bearers congratulated and thanked the voters for their votes and support. For more than a decade, the Democratic Panel has won press club elections, most by an extraordinary margin.