Tuesday Dec 27 2022

Sindh govt once again seeks postponement of LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad

A woman casts her vote at a polling station in this undated photo. — APP/File
A woman casts her vote at a polling station in this undated photo. — APP/File

  • Move likely to anger PTI, Jamat-e-Islami.
  • Sindh govt also mentions MQM's petition on rectifying of constituencies.
  • Govt also shares opinion of Sindh advocate general.

KARACHI: The Sindh Government has once again reached out to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the delay in the local government polls in Karachi and Hyderabad this time citing a pending work related to a Supreme Court judgment, reported The News.

In a letter, the provincial government’s Local Government Department said that work is pending related to the implementation of the letter and spirit of the Supreme Court’s judgment on due enforcement of Article 140-A of the Constitution, amendments to the local government act, and rectification of the constituencies for the municipal polls.

It mentioned that the MQM-Pakistan had also written a letter for rectifying the constituencies, while a petition in this regard had been filed in court.

The government also shared the opinion of the Sindh advocate general who is of the view that the delimitation of the constituencies would likely be changed. 

The MQM-P has already challenged in the court the existing delimitation of the constituencies. The party is also dissatisfied with the existing delimitation of the constituencies in Hyderabad. It has also emphasised that the local government law should be amended as early as possible to fully implement the Supreme Court’s judgment on Article 140-A of the Constitution.

It said that the process of legislation had to be completed for empowering the local government agencies in the province as per the direction given by the apex court.

The delay

The local government elections were scheduled to be held in Karachi and Hyderabad on January 15. The elections were postponed earlier several times mainly due to floods and heavy rains in the province.

The ECP had scheduled the local government polls in Sindh in two phases.

In the first phase held on June 25, the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) took a clear lead in the 14 districts.

The 14 districts of Sindh that went to polls included Larkana, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushehro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, and Tharparkar.

Elections in the rest of the districts of Sindh, including Karachi division, were scheduled to be held on July 24.

However due to the heavy rainfall and flooding the polls have been delayed since. The Sindh government has constantly been citing a lack of security personnel and floods as one of the reasons for not holding the polls.

In November, the Sindh High Court (SHC) censured the ECP for sitting on the local bodies elections in Karachi, warning them against further delay and ordered it to announce a date for the polls.

The same month, a five-member bench of the ECP, announced that local government elections would take place on January 15, 2023, in Karachi and Hyderabad.