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November 19, 2015

Confusion on eve of second phase of LG polls in Sindh

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November 19, 2015

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said the manner polling in the second phase of the local govt elections in Sindh are going to be held on Thursday (today) seems to be a conspiracy to disenfranchise the people of Sindh by denying them their representation in the local bodies’ system while also causing defeat to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
The Sindh chief minister was speaking at a hurriedly called press conference at the CM House on Wednesday night on the eve of polling in 14 districts of Sindh.
He was flanked by Sindh Senior Information Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro who also expressed his serious disappointment over the manner the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was implementing the decision of the Sindh High Court to bifurcate rural and urban constituencies of the local govt system, causing serious confusion at the eleventh hour to the voters and the candidates.
The Sindh CM said the Election Commission despite being the main election authority itself had no idea in which constituencies of the local bodies’ system polls were to be held and where they were to be postponed when just a few hours were left before the commencement of the polling time on Thursday.
“Before coming to the press conference, I have again contacted the secretary and other officials of the Election Commission on the issue, but they stated that they were working out the constituencies in the province which were to be bifurcated through new delimitation,” he said.
“In addition to being the chief minister, I’m also the president of my party, and the way the ECP has been implementing the decision of the court, I am not in a position to tell my people whether elections would be held in their respective constituencies or not tomorrow,” said the chief minister.
“The people of the province took a lot of interest in the ongoing local government elections, but this was not the right manner to take care of their interests,” he

The CM said that despite being the head of the provincial government he had no idea where elections would take place tomorrow and where they would be postponed.
“It is totally unfair and illegal. Never in the history of the country elections were held in such an unfair manner,” he said.
Qaim Ali Shah said it seemed that a conspiracy had been hatched by the party’s opponents in order to cause defeat to the People’s Party in the upcoming phase of the local govt elections through unfair and undemocratic means.
He said the PPP would use all the democratic and constitutional means to protest against “the unfair and illegal manner of conducting the local government polls in Sindh”.
The chief minister said that there were some very intelligent and qualified people at the Election Commission, and they should not allow spoiling of the poll process in such a manner for the sake of a hurried implementation of the court orders.
Sindh Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that the superior judiciary should have avoided giving such a judgement just two days before the polls as implementing the court’s orders at such a short notice was almost impossible and would cause sheer confusion to the electorates.
He lamented that the court by giving its judgement at the eleventh hour had objected over the merging of some of the rural constituencies with the urban ones.

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