The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday rejected the Sindh government’s request to postpone local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, and ruled that the polls will be held on Jan 15 as decided earlier.
The decision was taken by the ECP members during a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja at its headquarters in Islamabad.
In the wee hours of Friday, the provincial government announced that the long awaited local government elections would not be held in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
Addressing a hurriedly-called press conference, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said the polls in seven districts — Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal and Jamshoro — would go ahead as planned on Jan 15.
Memon had also announced that the notification to hold the polls on the basis of the existing delimitation had also been withdrawn on the demand of their ‘coalition partner’, the MQM-P, which had serious reservations with it.
The MQM-P had rejected the delimitation of local government constituencies and, terming them “unjustified”, demanded the withdrawal of the notification issued in this regard.
The electoral watchdog, in its meeting today, reviewed the request sent by the Sindh government but unanimously rejected it and reiterated that the local body polls will go ahead as planned.
The ECP also decided that the Ministry of Interior will be communicated to ensure the presence of Army and Rangers personnel at most sensitive polling stations across the province.