LG polls: ECP reserves verdict on MQM-P's plea on dual electoral lists

CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja rejects MQM-P's lawyer's statement, says LG polls in Karachi will not be delayed

Nausheen Yusuf
A file photo of ECP board outside its office. — AFP
A file photo of ECP board outside its office. — AFP

  • CEC tells lawyer his statement regarding dual electoral rolls is wrong.
  • Tells him his arguments are irrelevant. 
  • Stresses local government polls in Karachi will not be delayed.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday reserved the verdict on the petition filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) regarding dual electoral lists.

A three-member bench conducted the hearing of the plea under the chairmanship of CEC Raja pertaining to the dual electoral lists related to local body elections in Karachi and Hyderabad. 

During the hearing, the chief election commissioner told the lawyer representing MQM-P that he has gone to various forums, however, this issue was never raised before. 

He told the lawyer to raise any other issue so that they can be clubbed. 

The CEC further remarked that the lawyer is giving a wrong statement regarding the dual electoral rolls, rejecting his statement. 

"You think you can get the elections delayed when your arguments are irrelevant so far," he told the lawyer.

CEC Raja also stressed that the local government elections in Karachi will not be delayed, saying that it's the Election Commission of Pakistan's job to conduct the polls. 

Second phase

The ECP had told the Sindh government that the second phase of the local government 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.