Local government elections in the divisions of Karachi and Hyderabad were scheduled to take place on January 15 as previously arranged, but the Sindh government requested that the elections be postponed. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied this request on Friday.
The decision was made by the ECP members at a meeting held at the organization’s headquarters in Islamabad under the direction of Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja.
The provincial government said that the eagerly anticipated local government elections will not take place in the divisions of Karachi and Hyderabad in the wee hours of Friday.
Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon announced at a hastily arranged press conference that the elections in seven districts — Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal, and Jamshoro — would proceed as scheduled on January 15.
The notification to hold the elections based on the current delimitation had also been withdrawn, according to Memon, at the request of their coalition partner, the MQM-P, who had major concerns about it.
The MQM-P had demanded the revocation of the notification that had been issued in this regard after rejecting the delineation of local government constituencies and labelling them as unreasonable.
The electoral watchdog evaluated the proposal sent by the Sindh government during today’s meeting, but unanimously rejected it and reaffirmed that the local body elections would proceed as scheduled.
The ECP also agreed that the Ministry of Interior would be informed so that Army and Rangers soldiers would be present at the most crucial voting locations throughout the province.