'Bitter' MQM-P announces electoral boycott.

KARACHI -- After keeping the political temperature at a fever pitch well into the wee hours of SunAday, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-PakisAtan (MQM-P) announced that it would boycott today's locAal government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad after its repeated requests for changes in the delimitation of constituencies were turned down by the electoral watchdog.

However, the party - a key government ally in the Centre that has seen its breakaway factions reunified earlier this week under the MQM-P umbrella - kept its anger confined to the local level and focused on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP); unlike its threat that it hurled earlier this week, the party said it wouldn't leave the ruling coalition.

After an hours-long meeting of the party's coordination committee in the Bahadurabad headquarters and then a late-night huddle with the Sindh governor and chief minister at Governor's House, MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told a press conference on Sunday that his party would not accept 'unfair and biased' delimitation and taking part in the election would be tantamount to giving it legitimacy.

'Everyone has a right to win elections, but no one can be allowed to snatch them,' Dr Siddiqui said.

'Neither the voters' list nor the delimitations and arrangements for the elections are appropriate,' he said and lamented that the party waited until the last minute for the election commission to 'right the wrongs' and do...

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