The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced the revised schedule for local body elections in Karachi.
The ECP had postponed the local government elections due to the catastrophic floods triggered by monsoon rains. Earlier, the elections were scheduled to take place on August 28.
According to ECP’s spokesperson, the local body elections would be held on October 23 in all the districts of the Karachi division.
“A report is being sought from the Sindh election commissioner to finalise a date for the LG polls in Hyderabad,” said the commission.
POSTPONEMENT SOUGHT: The Sindh government had written to the provincial Election Commission of Pakistan, requesting the postponement of the polls in light of the monsoon rains forecast across the province in the coming week.
Sixteen deputy commissioners asked for the postponement for the next 45 days, however, Karachi’s central DC recommended that the polls be conducted.
Sindh Election Commissioner Ejaz Anwar Chauhan had said that rainwater was still accumulated in various districts in Karachi which has also affected the polling stations in those areas.
The provincial election commissioners asked the DCs and regional election commissioners to submit reports regarding the rain station.
In the letter sent to the ECP, the government had said it suffered losses to the extent of Rs450 billion as the rains have wreaked havoc across the province. “The damage is still ongoing as the Pakistan Meteorological Department has warned of another heavy spell of rainfall starting from 23 August 2022.”
It further said that the administrative and law enforcement machinery has been engaged in the rescue and relief operations in the affected districts.
“The security of the elections in Hyderabad and Karachi regions warrants the deployment of security personnel from other districts and regions which are already struggling to keep up law and order situation and provide relief to the affected,” it added.
The letter said that re-directing resources for conducting the second phase of LG elections and ensuring accessibility to polling stations may further exacerbate the destruction caused by the calamity.
PUNJAB: The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed the Punjab Local Government Bill 2021 by a majority vote amid a strong protest by the opposition.
The session, chaired by Speaker Sibtain Khan, passed the much-debated LG Bill under which the local bodies polls will be held on party basis. The bill was moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat and all the objections raised by the opposition were rejected.
The opposition pointed out quorum but the speaker ignored it after which the House witnessed an uproar and members staged a walkout.
PTI MNA Malik Ahmad Khan Bachhar, on a point of order, suggested formation of a committee for the flood-hit areas during the wheat season. He said subsidy must be given on seed because farmers were not able to purchase it.