Islamabad : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday disqualified Deputy Mayor Karachi Arshad Vohra for switching parties after being elected to his position.

The decision comes on a petition filed by Dr Farooq Sattar after Vohra, who had contested on a Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) ticket, joined rival Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

In a letter to the ECP, Sattar noted that Vohra had violated law and Constitution by switching political parties. He asked the commission to de-notify Vohra as Union Council member.

Since changing loyalties on October 29, the deputy mayor’s security protocol and secretarial facilitation were taken away on the orders of Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.

Vohra had become the deputy mayor on the ticket of Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan. He had been elected chairman from the Union Council 49. Later, he joined Pak Sarzameen Party, infuriating his former party, which then moved the ECP.

The ECP had reserved the decision on the petition seeking disqualification of Vohra on the last hearing of the case. The chief election commissioner, heading a three-member bench, read out the already reserved verdict today.

Vohra’s counsel Syed Hafizuddin told media representatives that his client had been nominated for the post by MQM-London, and explained that “he left the party because of the party’s treason.”

He, however, clarified that “MQM-P is a new party, and has nothing to do with the London-based” faction. He also said that Vohra reserves the right to file an appeal against the decision.

MQM-P Senator Mian Attique, meanwhile, declared the decision “a triumph of truth and righteousness”, adding that “floor crossing will not be an easy task from now on.”

The senator indicated that the next deputy mayor will be from the MQM and someone who hails from Karachi.

Vohra, an industrialist and a former chairman of SITE Association, was an MPA from the PS-115 constituency before he contested and won the local government election.

He is also facing a case in an anti-terrorism court, pertaining to money laundering.