LG elections in Karachi and Hyderabad on January 15 says ECP

ECP rejected the request of the Sindh government to postpone the LG elections in Karachi and Hyderabad scheduled for January 15

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected the Sindh government's request to delay the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.  The PPP government in Sindh had once again asked the ECP to postpone local government polls citing the law and order situation and terror threats.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired an emergency meeting held to review to discuss the provincial government's request and decided that there would be no change in the schedule. Election Commission Secretary Umar Hameed and provincial election commissioner Aijaz Anwer  also attended the huddle via video link.

The ECP decision has clear the confusion regarding the LG polls tomorrow. MQM-P is the only party which wanted a delay in the elections. The other parties including PPP, JI and PTI are are opposing the delay in the elections.  

The Sindh government had written two letters to ECP to delay the LG elections in Karachi and Hyderabad on the demand of MQM-P. The MQM-P is threatening to quit the federal government if the elections are held on existing delimitations of LG constituencies in Karachi.  

In a letter to the ECP Saturday, less than 24 hours before the polling, the provincial authorities cited input from the intelligence agencies regarding terror threats and “reiterated the request that the 2nd Phase of local government elections to the extent of Karachi Division and Hyderabad District be postponed till such time that the required security is available at the polling stations.”

The letter stated that the ECP, in its January 13 order, gave “no response to the concerns of the provincial government regarding the non-availability of Pakistan Army and civil armed forces” for the smooth conduct of polls.

It added that a meeting was held at the office of the chief secretary on Friday which was also attended by the ECP secretary as well as senior officers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

“In this meeting, the law enforcement and intelligence agencies apprised the participants of the precarious law and order situation along with specific threats to various political leaders and workers of political parties.”

It further added that the meeting further corroborated the fear and apprehension of the government that due to the prevalent situation, there was a greater need for the presence of troops of the Pakistan Army and civil armed forces to be statically deployed at the polling stations.


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