ECP announces LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad on Jan 15

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has pronounced the reserved verdict on local government (LG) elections in seven divisions of Hyderabad and Karachi which will be held on January 15.

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The verdict on the petitions against delay in the local bodies polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions was reserved by a five-member bench of ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on November 15.

The Sindh government’s request to postpone the elections for three months was rejected and the election body directed Sindh Police inspector general (G) and chief secretary to provide security for the exercise.

In a notice issued on November 16, the ECP said that the announcement of order had been set for next week. The time for announcing it was set at 10am, but it has been extended to 3pm.

In this regard, notices had been issued to the Sindh chief secretary, inspector general (IG) of Sindh Police and interior ministry secretary.

Heads of all the political parties participating in the polls have also been issued a notice to attend.

The ECP had taken up the case after the conduct of second phase of local government elections in the province were deferred on one pretext or another for at least three times.

First, elections were deferred over concerns such as rains and urban flooding.

Thereafter, it was deferred on account of flooding in several parts of the province where elections were to be held.

It was deferred for a third time after the Sindh government cited security issues and an inability to secure the polls since police were deputed on various duties including in flood-hit areas and in Islamabad.

Maintaining its inability to spare sufficient staff, the Sindh government said that it can hold elections, but it will be better that it is held in two stages in Karachi.

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