Sindh refuses to hold LG polls on provisional census results

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The Sindh government has excused once again for holding local government (LG) elections on the basis of provisional census results, it was learnt on Friday.

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) conducted a hearing of LG elections in Sindh where Advisor to CM Sindh, Murtaza Wahab, appeared in the ECP office.  Murtaza Wahab, on behalf of the Sindh government, told ECP that LG elections could not be organised on the basis of provisional census results.

He adopted the stance that delimitations on the basis of provincial census results will be unconstitutional.The election commission issued directives again to issue the final notification of the census carried out in 2017 before March 1. The ECP spokesperson said in a statement the Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Division’s secretary will contact Prime Minister Imran Khan.The CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja announced that ECP will conduct the hearing in the first week of March again in order to discuss the matters related to LG polls.The ruling political party in Sindh, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), had adopted the stance since September last year that it would be an unconstitutional move to initiate fresh delimitation and organise LG polls on the basis of provincial census results.

On January 29, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had sought recommendations of the Sindh government regarding the date of local government (LG) elections following the orders of the Supreme Court (SC).

However, PPP kept insisting for the issuance of the final report of the census for moving ahead to organise LG polls and fresh delimitations in the province.On the other hand, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) had agreed to organise LG polls. In its reply to the Supreme Court (SC) on February 5, ECP informed that local government elections in Punjab will be held in three phases, while the first phase of the local council polls will be held on June 20, in the second phase on July 16 and in the third phase on August 08.

The schedule for Punjab local council poll will also be announced in phases.