ECP puts its foot down to ensure Sindh LG elections are held on time
ECP rejects Sindh's decision to delay Karachi, Hyderabad LG polls
KARACHI (Dunya News) – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday turned down the Sindh government’s request to delay the local government polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, saying elections would be held as per scheduled.
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired an emergency meeting to review the situation after the provincial government announced to put off the elections in Karachi division, and districts of Hyderabad and Dadu, scheduled for Jan 15, citing political issues and flood water.
In a late-night development, the Sindh government announced that the long-awaited LG elections would not be held in the divisions. However, it said polls in seven districts – Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal and Jamshoro – will go as per plan.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced on Thursday that the notification to hold the polls on the basis of the existing delimitation had also been withdrawn on the demand of the Mutahida Qaumi Movement, which had serious reservations in this regard.
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The top electoral body, in its decision, said the LG polls would not be delayed in any way, adding that deployment of troops at the sensitive polling stations would also be ensured. The ECP has directed the Ministry to Interior to provide security for the elections.
The Sindh government’s move sparked strong reactions from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) as the opposition parties announced protest against it.
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Following the ECP decision, the JI has withdrawn its decision to stage sit-in in front of the provincial election office. It has directed its party workers to continue preparations for the LG elections.