ECP postpones Aug 28 LG polls in Hyderabad due to floods

Spokesperson says will decide in today’s meeting about Karachi

Our Correspondent/Saqib Virk August 24, 2022
Step has been taken to ensure maximum participation of youth in politics in the next general and local body elections. PHOTO: FILE


The electoral watchdog has postponed the second phase of Sindh local government elections scheduled for Aug 28 in nine districts of Hyderabad due to rain-induced floods while the decision for conducting the same in Karachi will be taken during a meeting on Wednesday (today).

The LG polls were postponed on the recommendation of the provincial election commissioner and the district administration in view of more rains forecast for Aug 24 and 25.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) spokesperson, local government elections have been postponed in Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Jamshoro, Dadu, Badin, Sajawal and Thatta districts.

“The Hyderabad Division has been declared calamity-hit due to heavy rains,” the spokesperson said, adding that the LG elections had been postponed till the situation improved.

In Wednesday’s meeting, the situation of rains and floods will be considered and Sindh government's actions will be reviewed. Earlier, the LG polls had been postponed due to rains.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ECP issued a notification regarding the second phase of the Sindh LG elections, saying that they will be held on Aug 28 as per schedule in the districts of Karachi Division.

According to the ECP spokesperson, whatever decision the commission takes in Hyderabad Division will be done keeping in mind the convenience of the voters.

Further, the Sindh High Court rejected the requests of the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf regarding the immediate holding the second phase of the LG elections.

A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Ahmad Ali Sheikh, issued a written order rejecting the requests of JI and PTI regarding the immediate holding of the LG elections.

Read Sindh declares 23 districts calamity hit, death toll reaches 239

In a written order, the court said that the ECP had earlier postponed the elections due to inclement weather conditions.

The ECP assured that they wanted to hold elections on time. On the fear of petitioners regarding tampering of ballot papers, the court said mere concerns could not interfere with the functioning of an organisation.

The JI and PTI urged the court that the observer should be ordered to take custody of the ballot papers as Murtaza Wahab was a political administrator taking undue advantage of his position.

In the court decision, the petitions stated, Shehbaz Sharif was prevented from interfering in the by-elections. “An order should be made to ensure LG elections take place on Aug 28 as the Supreme Court rejected the request to postpone them.”

The ECP deliberately postponed the LG elections scheduled for July 24 though it had said earlier that so many expenses had been incurred that they could not be postponed, they added.

The petitioners accused the Karachi administrator of using government machinery for political interests, praying the court “to have the ballot papers secured as ECP has sent the ballot papers to the return officers, which can be rigged”.

The petitions had been filed by JI Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and PTI leader Ashraf Jabbar Qureshi. Advocate Usman Farooq appeared on behalf of the JI while Raj Ali Wahid appeared on behalf of the PTI.


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