As voting ends, London set to get first Muslim Mayor

Breaking! Sadiq Khan becomes first Muslim Mayor in LondonBreaking! Sadiq Khan becomes first Muslim Mayor in London

Sadiq Khan is a Muslim. It is very probable he’d become London’s new mayor. He is facing a fierce contest with conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith. The campaigns have seen bitter rivalries. While Khan is wooing Muslims and other minorities, Zac is appealing to Hindu and Sikh voters.

All indications are that Khan, 45, a former human rights lawyer and a Labor MP from Tooting since 2005, will emerge the winner. That will make the former bus driver’s son Europe’s most powerful Muslim politician. Khan was the transport minister in then Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government in 2009-10. He was the first Muslim minister to attend Cabinet meetings.

Khan has promised to address the city’s housing crisis, freeze transport fares for four years, create more job opportunities for Londoners and cut pollution.

According to Khan, “I’m a Londoner, I’m European, I’m British, I’m English, and I’m of Islamic faith, of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage, a dad, a husband. I want all Londoners to have the same opportunities that our city gave me: a home they can afford, a high-skilled job with decent pay, an affordable and modern transport system and a safe, clean and healthy environment,” Khan said.

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Muslim groups complain the mayoral contest has sunk to “disturbing lows”. The Conservatives have been accused of trying to exploit racial tensions to help Goldsmith win, the Financial Times said.

The Muslim Association of Britain who are backing Khan’s candidacy said it was disturbed how some candidates had gone to extreme measures to attack either Islamic practices or Muslims to attract support.

In what seem like INEC Nigeria, voting and registration has failed in some areas. Some people are beginning to suspect sinister move by the ruling party to doctor election results. For instance, hundreds of residents in Barnet said they were told they could not vote without their polling card, while some carrying the document said they were also refused.

For the first half an hour after voting started the majority of voters were turned away. An estimated 250,000 people were going to the polls in Barnet to vote for the London Mayor, London Assembly members and council by-election in one ward.