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Sunday January 29, 2023

LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad to be held on Jan 15: ECP

The ECP announced that the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad will be held on January 15 next year

November 23, 2022
LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad to be held on Jan 15: ECP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday announced that the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad will be held on January 15 next year.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, issued the order after it had reserved its judgment on the matter on November 15, having heard the stakeholders.

“…it is decided that the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions will be held on January 15, 2023. Under Article 220 of the Constitution, the government of Sindh, chief secretary and inspector general of police are hereby directed to provide sufficient number of security personnel for election duty at polling stations, offices of the district returning officers, returning officers, polling staff and transportation of polling material from and to the offices of ROs,” reads the order.

The 10-page order says, “Further the federal government through secretary Ministry of Interior is directed to provide sufficient number of security personnel from other law-enforcement agencies, in accordance with the security plan for the conduct of local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, in a peaceful manner. The office is directed to take further necessary action accordingly.”

Through its order, the Election Commission says, “It is the constitutional obligation of the commission to organise and conduct elections in accordance with the Constitution and the law, which entrust the commission with exclusive, broad and exclusive powers to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. The august Supreme Court has also held in a number of judgments that the Election Commission is bound by the Constitution and the law to ensure timely conduct of elections. At the same time, it is the constitutional responsibility of the provincial governments to ensure establishment of local government system in terms of Article 140(A)(1) of the Constitution”.

It is pertinent to mention that the local government elections in these two divisions were originally scheduled for July 24, but had been postponed thrice since then, mainly due to the Sindh government’s request that it didn’t have the required police officials who were busy in flood rescue and relief operations. The poll process was first put off to August 28, then to October 23, and then indefinitely, before the Sindh government on November 10 said it had postponed the polls on its own for 90 days, evoking criticism from the PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) had directed the Election Commission to issue the schedule for local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad within 15 days, adding that the polls should preferably be conducted within 60 days.

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