ECP rejects Sindh govt's plea for another delay in LG elections.

ISLAMABAD -- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday rejected the Sindh government's latest request to postpone local government elections in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, and ruled that the polls would be held on Jan 15 (tomorrow) as per schedule.

The ECP members made the decision during a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja at its headquarters in Islamabad. The commission deliberated the Sindh government's request to postpone elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions and two tehsils of Khairpur.

The meeting came hours after the provincial government announced in the wee hours of Friday that the long-awaited local government elections would not be held in the two divisions. However, it decided that the polls in seven districts would go ahead as planned on Jan 15. In a letter to Sindh's election commissioner, the local government department said a provincial cabinet meeting had cancelled the notification related to the delimitation of councils in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

The electoral watchdog, in its meeting on Friday, reviewed the request sent by the Sindh government but unanimously rejected it and reiterated that the polls would go ahead as planned. The ECP, in a statement, said it would also issue an order in this regard.

PTI chides PDM for trying to escape Sunday's polls; MQM-P threatens to quit coalition if delimitation demand not met

The commission also decided to direct the interior ministry to ensure the deployment of additional army and Rangers troops outside the most-sensitive polling stations. Earlier, the army refused to spare additional troops for static deployment.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar chided the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) coalition government for its attempts to escape elections in Sindh, followed by Islamabad. 'They tried to escape in Punjab and ran away from general elections. Are they politicians or sprinters in a race?' he wondered.

Fawad Chaudhry, PTI's senior vice president, noted that not only the ECP but the Supreme Court should also take notice of the Sindh government's...

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