time Wednesday Jan 04 2023

Over 30 candidates pass away waiting for Karachi, Hyderabad LG polls

A man casts his vote at a polling station during the general election in Karachi on July 25, 2018. AFP/File
A man casts his vote at a polling station during the general election in Karachi on July 25, 2018. AFP/File

  • More than 700 candidates elected unopposed.
  • 16 Karachi candidates pass away waiting for LG polls.
  • Polls scheduled in Karachi and Hyderabad on Jan 15.

KARACHI: Amid a prolonged delay in the local government election in Sindh’s Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, over 30 candidates have passed away waiting for the polls to be held.

According to The News report, polls in 45 constituencies will now be held at a later date.

The second phase of the local body's election has been repeatedly postponed for one reason or another since July 2022 and is now rescheduled to be held on January 15.

704 candidates elected unopposed

Meanwhile, 704 of the 19,867 contestants vying for different seats have been elected unopposed in 16 districts of Karachi and Hyderabad as chairmen, vice chairmen, and general members of union committees, town councils, and district councils.

The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) data shows that five general members and one chairman candidate won in Karachi’s Malir, East and Keamari districts, while the remaining won various seats, including general member, town councillor, and district member, in nine Hyderabad districts.

As per the ECP, among the 16 deceased candidates from Karachi Division, half had filed their nomination papers for the posts of chairman and vice chairman, and the remaining were contesting for general member seats.

The publication, citing the official statistics reported that one general member candidate passed away in District Malir, and one chairman, vice chairman and general member candidate each passed away in District Korangi, while two general member candidates passed away in District East.

Moreover, one chairman candidate passed away in District South, and four chairman and vice chairman candidates passed away in the Central and West districts, while one chairman candidate and four general member candidates passed away in District Keamari. Seventeen other candidates passed away in Hyderabad Division.

Second phase

The ECP had told the Sindh government that the second phase of the LG polls in Karachi and Hyderabad would be held on July 24, 2022, but then it postponed them because of torrential rains and subsequent floods in the province.

The electoral body rescheduled the LG elections for August 28, but they were put off again due to the same reason.

The commission had said that most of the polling stations had been rendered inaccessible for the voters.

On October 18 the ECP rescheduled the elections for October 23, but the provincial government sought their postponement for three months because it had deployed police in the flooded areas, due to which it was unable to provide the required level of security to the polling stations.

After the repeated delays, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) moved the Sindh High Court, which on November 15 instructed the ECP to announce the date for the LG elections within 15 days.

On November 22, the ECP announced January 15 as the new date.