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Sunday December 04, 2022

ECP postpones LG polls in Karachi for a second time: sources

New schedule for the local body polls will be announced later

August 24, 2022
The Election Commission of Pakistan building in Islamabad.
The Election Commission of Pakistan building in Islamabad. 

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday postponed the local body elections scheduled to be held on August 28 amid heavy rains, said well-placed sources.

The ECP made the decision after reviewing the points raised by the Sindh government and the Pakistan Meteorological Department's (PMD) report regarding the weather during today’s meeting.

A day earlier, the municipal elections were postponed in Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Matiari, Dadu, Thatta, Badin and Sajawal by the election body.

Earlier, the ECP had rejected reports from deputy commissioners of 16 Sindh districts suggesting postponement of the local government elections, saying that the polls will not be delayed anymore.

The commission while saying elections will go on as planned in the Karachi division, had said that it would decide later about elections in the Hyderabad division, keeping in view the convenience of the voters.

This was the second time that the second phase of the local bodies has been postponed due to floods. The polls were initially scheduled to be held on July 27 but were postponed at the government's request citing heavy rains. 

Sindh govt urges ECP to postpone polls

On Tuesday, the Sindh government wrote to the provincial Election Commission of Pakistan requesting the postponement of the polls in light of the monsoon rains forecast across the province in the coming week.

Sixteen deputy commissioners asked for the postponement for the next 45 days, however, Karachi's central DC recommended that the polls be conducted.

Sindh Election Commissioner Ejaz Anwar Chauhan had said that rainwater was still accumulated in various districts in Karachi which has also affected the polling stations in those areas.

The provincial election commissioners asked the DCs and regional election commissioners to submit reports regarding the rain station.

In the letter sent to the ECP, the government said it suffered losses to the extent of Rs450 billion as the rains have wreaked havoc across the province. "The damage is still ongoing as the Pakistan Meteorological Department has warned of another heavy spell of rainfall starting from 23 August, 2022."

It further said that the administrative and law enforcement machinery has been engaged in the rescue and relief operations in the affected districts.

"The security of the elections in Hyderabad and Karachi regions warrants the deployment of security personnel from other districts and regions which are already struggling to keep up law and order situation and provide relief to the affected," it added.

The letter said that re-directing resources for conducting the second phase of LG elections and ensuring accessibility to polling stations may further exacerbate the destruction caused by the calamity.