Delaying tactics.

THE PPP-led Sindh government has quite clearly mastered the art of indefinitely delaying local government elections, presumably to ensure that no alternative political leadership emerges from the third tier. The provincial administration recently decided that the second phase of the polls would be put off - yet again - for 90 days in Karachi. This controversial decision has rightly drawn the ire of the chief election commissioner, who remarked at a recent hearing in Islamabad that the Sindh administration had 'taken this power [of calling elections] from us'. The CEC further observed that delaying the LG polls violates Supreme Court directives. The country's top election official also noted that frequent changes in Punjab's LG law made holding of the polls 'impossible'.

The Sindh government is frankly hiding behind excuses when it says it does not have the police personnel and administrative staff (who are presumably busy in flood relief work) to hold the polls in Karachi. After 90 days are up, the provincial administration may well come up with a fresh pretext to delay the polls. The CEC has asked the...

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