Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has said that elections in Karachi will not be delayed under any circumstances.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced in November to hold local body elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on January 15.
During the hearing, the MQM’s lawyer said that the ECP had announced the local body elections in Sindh on April 29 and the second phase of local body elections was postponed twice. He said that the use of the old voter list for the second phase of elections was against the law.
CEC said that this time issue of MQM was the old voter list while earlier it used to go to the courts on delimitation. He asked why MQM did not bring all the issues together.
MQM’s lawyer said that the elections should be held on new lists, on which the CEC said that the party had participated in the general elections and by-elections on the same lists.
MQM’s lawyer said that the Election Commission was an independent constitutional body, and the CEC said that there was no justification in arguments so far.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government sought time from the ECP till next week to argue on the petition.
The representative of Jamaat-e-Islami said that every effort was being made to postpone the local body elections. He requested the ECP to hold the local body elections on January 15.
The CEC remarked that the Karachi local body elections will not be delayed under any circumstances.
Special Secretary Election Commission Zafar Iqbal took the stance that the election would never be held if the MQM’s point was accepted while the DG Law Election Commission requested to reject the MQM’s request.
The ECP has reserved its verdict on a case related to voter lists in the second phase of local body elections in Sindh.
On October 18 local body elections in Karachi were postponed for the third time.
It is to be noted that in the first phase of local body elections in Sindh local body elections had been held in a total of 14 districts of Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions on June 26.