Saturday September 30, 2023

Polls to fill 93 vacant local govt seats in Sindh on April 18

By Our Correspondent
March 18, 2023

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the schedule for polls for 93 local government seats in different categories in Sindh.

Due to the demise of candidates, the elections could not be held in constituencies across the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, where the LG polls were held in January. According to the schedule, candidates may submit their nomination papers between March 20 and 22, and the scrutiny of the nomination papers would be done by March 28. Candidates could withdraw from the polls by April 6, after which electoral symbols would be allotted on April 7.

The polls would be held on April 18 and their results would be announced on April 20. The 93 categories for which the polls would be held include 11 union committees (UCs) of Karachi where polls could not be earlier held due to the demise of candidates. Elections would also be held for another 17 union committees or union councils in the province. Other categories for which polls would be held include 61 seats of general members and four district council members.

JI calls off sit-ins

The Jamaat-e-Islami on Friday called off its protest sit-ins on 10 major arteries of Karachi at the eleventh hour as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the schedule for the local government elections in the 11 union committees (UCs) of the city where the polls could not be held due to demise of candidates.

The JI, which had been demanding that polls be announced in the 11 remaining UCs, had announced sit-ins at 10 places in the city against the ECP. As the ECP announced the polls schedule before the scheduled time for the sit-ins, Karachi JI Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman called off the protests.

The JI had been criticising the ECP for some time over its reluctance to hold polls in the 11 UCs even after passage of more than two months since the local government elections were held across Karachi.

Rehman held a press conference at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, the Karachi JI headquarters, on Friday evening to call off the demonstrations. He welcomed the decision made by the ECP. He also announced that the JI would contest the polls in all the 11 UCs with full force. He directed the party workers to mobilise all the party’s sympathisers for the polls, stating that their results would decide the future of Karachi.

The JI leader, however, requested the ECP to hold the elections on a weekend instead of a working day. He said that the party would formally write a letter to the ECP, requesting it to change the date of the polls from April 18 to April 16.

He also alleged that post-poll rigging was taking place in the guise of recounting. He demanded that the ECP shun its previous conduct and stop facilitating the PPP in an unconstitutional and illegal manner.

He also asked the ECP to decide on merit the cases pending before the commission. The Karachi JI chief also called a workers convention today (Saturday) on New MA Jinnah Road in connection with the upcoming polls in 11 UCs of the city.