Sindh LG polls to be held as per ECP schedule as SHC rejects petitions

No delay would be considered, the court observe

The Sindh High Court has ordered the authorities to hold the local bodies elections on time in the province as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The opposition parties in Sindh, including MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami, had approached the high court against the schedule notified by the ECP for the local bodies’ elections and demanded that the election be held on the basis of new delimitations.

During the proceeding on Friday, Farogh Naseem, the counsel of MQM, and Chaudhry Asif, the JI counsel, appeared in the court urging that all political parties agreed that LG polls should not be held without reforms.

Farogh Naseem blamed the Sindh government for controversial delimitations which, he said, were contrary to the law and in violation of the Local Government Act.

Over 2.5 million people have no knowledge about their UC, he added.

Read also: SC dismisses PTI petition against ECP’s Sindh LG polls decision

The MQM counsel maintained the voters’ lists would be completed on August 12; therefore, the voting process should not take place before August 12.

Following Farogh Naseem, the JI counsel Chaudhry Asif said the Supreme Court had first passed the order under Article 140-A and then asked for elections. The SC had also directed the authorities to let the local bodies’ departments act independently and issue the funds to the local government’s department.

At the hearing, the ECP counsel said the ECP had spent Rs500 million on all the preparations for the LG polls and over 30 million ballot papers had been published.

The commission has been verifying the voters by going door to door and if anything had gone wrong it was a human error and not an act of dishonesty, the counsel said.

Justice Junaid Ghaffar remarked that the SC had already ordered holding LG polls and if the elections schedule was changed on the whims of parties, the local government would appear weak.

Later, the court directed authorities to hold the Sindh’s LG polls as per the ECP schedule without considering any delay.

The court dismissed the petition for the cancellation of the ECP notification, saying that a detailed verdict will be issued later.

Sindh LG polls schedule

The ECP had announced that the first phase of local bodies elections in Sindh will take place on June 26. According to the electoral body, the first phase will cover 14 districts of Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions.

The second phase of LG elections covering rest of the province including Karachi and Hyderabad will take place on July 24.

Sindh

Sindh High Court

LG polls

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