ECP accepts Sindh’s request
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday decided to postpone local government elections in Karachi for a third time, according to a press release from the electoral watchdog.
The decision was taken following a third request by the Sindh government seeking postponement for three months of the LG polls in seven districts of Karachi, scheduled for October 23.
The second phase of the local government elections in Sindh was originally scheduled to take place on July 24. However, it was postponed twice due to unprecedented rains and the flooding crisis.
The Sindh government stated that there were difficulties in providing security for the polls as it is facing a shortage of 16,000 police personnel.
According to the press release, the ECP had no other option than to postpone the LG elections since “peaceful conduct of the election and the protection of the voters” was its top priority.
The ECP decided to hold another meeting after 15 days to gain feedback from the provincial government and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that local body polls are conducted as soon as possible and a date fixed for them.
The ECP in its press release explained that it had written to the interior ministry to ensure the provision of Pakistan Army soldiers and Rangers to compensate for the shortage of police personnel but the ministry responded that such a measure was not possible. The interior ministry had informed the ECP that the army and Rangers could, albeit, be provided as a quick reaction force. The ministry’s response compelled the ECP to delay polls for the time being, the press release added.