ECP postpones Karachi’s LG polls for third time

Request to Interior ministry for provision of Army and Rangers was denied, says ECP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has postponed the local government elections in Karachi for the third time upon the request of Sindh government while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had heavily criticized the decision.

The Sindh government had requested the electoral watchdog for the third time that the local government elections in seven districts of Karachi should be postponed. The elections were scheduled for October 23.

The second phase of the local government elections on the province was scheduled for July 24, but due to unprecedented rains and floods it was postponed twice. The provincial government had maintained that because of shortage of 16,000 police personnel, there were difficulties in providing security.

The press release of ECP has said that peaceful conduct of the elections was the first priority, and it had no other option than postponement of the elections. Another meeting will be held after 15 days to get feedback from the Sindh government along with law enforcement agencies so that the date could be fixed for elections.

According to ECP’s press release, it had requested the Interior Ministry for the provision of Pakistan Army and Rangers in compensation of shortage of police personnel, but the ministry had stated that any such measure was not possible.

ECP was informed by the Interior Ministry that army soldiers and rangers could be provided as a quick reaction force.

The press release has also said that the by-elections at NA-45 Kurram, which were postponed due to law and order situation, will be held on October 30.

The decision of postponement of local government elections has been criticized by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Asad Umar has stated that imported government has once again run away. Shireen Mazari has said that there was no doubt that the ECP was biased.

Mazari shared two decisions of ECP in her tweet. In the first one, the ECP had decided to postpone Karachi’s local government elections while on the other hand, the CEC had written a letter to the Supreme Court that Punjab government was not taking the local government elections seriously.

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