BMP presidential candidate disqualified for FPCCI elections

Lahore – Rejecting the nomination papers of Businessmen Penal (BMP) candidate, the Director General Trade Organisations (DGTO) has barred former senator Haji Ghulam Ali from contesting elections for the slot of presidency in the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

The senator was the presidential candidate from the Businessmen Panel (BMP), the major opposition group which has lost three elections to United Business Group (UBG) in a row.

The decision of the department, working under Federal Ministry of Commerce, will help UBG secure victory for the fourth time while it will demoralize the supporters of BMP.

Industry sources said that the presidential candidate from UBG Ghazanfar Bilour had raised an objection to the nomination papers of Senator Ghulam Ali, but the election commission set aside his complaint.

Subsequently, he filed a petition in the office of DGTO Regulator Waqar Ahmed Shah, challenging the decision of the election commission. He had prayed that Ghulam Ali had contested FPCCI elections from Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and now he was doing it from the platform of chamber of small traders which was illegal and violation of the rights of the business community.

Shah heard the arguments of both the sides and decided in favour of Bilour, setting aside the decision of the election commission of FPCCI.

Sources say that the decision announced days before the annual elections of the apex chamber is a blow to the BMP and now the covering candidate of BMP Zubair Ali, who is the son of Ghulam Ali will face Ghazanfar Bilour in the elections.

It may be mentioned here that Ghulam Ali had also raised objections to the nomination of Bilour, which were rejected by the DGTO. Yet, in another decision, the DGTO allowed Sartaj Khan of Chitral Chamber of Commerce, representing BMP to contest elections for the slot of Vice President in FPCCI.

Earlier his papers had been rejected by the election commission of FPCCI. Yet in another move, Ch Arfan Yousaf, one of UBG’s candidates for the slot of VP for Punjab, has already returned unopposed.

Industry sources said that BMP presidential candidate’s nomination was rejected on the grounds that he was a big businessman, but was registered in the small trader members’ category of the FPCCI.

Secondly, he had also remained as the federation president in the past. They said that one man’s again and again contesting of presidential election would usurp the other traders’ right to be elected as FPCCI president.

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