Sharjeel Memon says ECP can't reject Sindh govt's decision to delay LG polls.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon asserted on Friday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could not reject the provincial government's decision to postpone local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

In the wee hours of Friday, the provincial government had announced that the long-awaited local body elections would not be held and the notification to hold the polls based on the existing delimitation had also been withdrawn on the demand of their 'coalition partner', the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

However, earlier today the ECP rejected the Sindh government's request and ruled that the polls - which have been twice delayed - would be held on Jan 15 as decided earlier.

Speaking to the media at the launch of an electric bus service in Karachi, the Sindh minister said: 'The courts have certain powers, the election commission has certain powers and the government has certain powers.'

He said that the provincial government reserved the right to issue a notification for the postponement of the polls. He asserted that the Sindh government had exercised its power in accordance with the Constitution.

He said that the Sindh government had exercised its powers as some parties had expressed reservations over the delimitation of constituencies and it did not want them to feel as though they had been wronged.

'We want each and every political party to be given an equal field to contest the elections.'

He said that on the MQM-P's request, the notification issued under Section 10(1) of the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA) 2013, was withdrawn, adding that this was the Sindh government's 'constitutional right'.

'The election commission cannot dismiss the notification. By law, the ECP cannot interfere with the rights of the Sindh government and vice versa.'

Talking about the ECP's verdict, he said that it stated that army and Rangers personnel should be deputed at sensitive polling stations in Karachi. He said that to do so, a written request is supposed to be sent to the federal government.

'So we wrote to the federal government which said that personnel were engaged in fighting terrorists [...] they said additional personnel can't be provided.'

He wondered how the Sindh government could follow the...

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