LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad to be held on Jan 15: ECP.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled on Monday that the local government (LG) polls in Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta divisions would be held on Jan 15 as per the schedule.

The verdict was pronounced by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on a petition filed by MQM wherein it had challenged the decision of the electoral body for the prospective use of two separate electoral rolls in the upcoming elections simultaneously.

At the previous hearing, the ECP had reserved its verdict on the plea.

On Monday, a three-member bench headed by CEC Raja rejected MQM's petition, saying that polls in Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta would be held as per the schedule and on the previous voter list.

He directed the Sindh government to complete arrangements for the elections, adding that the chief secretary and the law-enforcement agencies should also ensure that the elections were held on time.

ECP seeks deployment of army troops at polling stations

Separately, the ECP has requested the Ministry of Interior for the deployment of army and Rangers troops for the upcoming LG elections.

In a letter written by the LG Elections Director General Sharifullah - dated Jan 6 - the ECP asked for the 'static deployment of Pakistan Army/Rangers troops outside highly sensitive polling stations along with already-approved QRF (Quick-reaction force) presence' on the day of the polls.

It said that the request was made 'keeping in view the sensitivity of the areas concerned and in order to prevent any untoward incidents which are apprehended due to the volatile political environment'.

Second phase of LG elections in Sindh

After multiple delays, the ECP had on Nov 22 finally announced that the second phase of local bodies polls in Karachi and Hyderabad would be held on Jan 15.

Announcing the verdict that it had reserved on Nov 15, the election watchdog asked the Sindh government, the chief secretary, and the provincial police...

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