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ECP delays local bodies elections in Karachi

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday announced to postpone the local government elections in Karachi for the third time.

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According to a press release, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday announced to postpone the local government elections in Karachi for the third time.

The decision was made in response to the Sindh government’s third plea, which asked for the October 23 LG elections in seven districts of Karachi to be postponed for three months.

Originally set on July 24, the second round of the local government elections in Sindh will now take place. However, because to the extraordinary rainfall and the flooding issue, it was postponed twice. The Sindh administration said that the lack of 16,000 police officers made it impossible to provide security during the elections.

The press announcement stated that as “peaceful conduct of the poll and the protection of the voters” was its first concern, the ECP had no choice but to postpone the LG elections.

In order to guarantee that local body elections be held as soon as feasible and that a date has been set for them, the ECP agreed to hold another meeting after 15 days to get input from the province administration and other law enforcement organisations.

According to the press release, the ECP wrote to the interior ministry requesting that Pakistan Army soldiers and Rangers be sent to make up for the lack of police officers, but the ministry replied that such a step was not feasible.

The army and Rangers could be offered, as a quick reaction force, the interior ministry had informed the ECP. According to the news statement, the ministry’s answer caused the ECP to temporarily postpone elections.

Separately, it stated that institutions have been given the required directives to finish making preparations for the NA-45 Kurram by-elections, which will take place on October 30. The Kurram by-election was initially postponed from Oct 16 due to the law and order situation in the constituency.

Several politicians responded to the news.