ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday decided to postpone the second phase of the local body elections in Sindh, scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 24.
Confirming the news, the spokesperson said the elections will now take place on August 18.
Earlier, sources privy to the development — on the condition of anonymity — told Geo News that an ECP meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, had decided to postpone the second phase of the local body polls after it received requests from the MQM-P, GDA, chief secretary Sindh, and provincial election commissioner.
Later, a press release issued by the ECP confirmed that that CEC Raja had chaired a meeting where they reviewed the different applications they had received for the postponement of the second phase of the local body elections and NA-245 by-polls. The applications had requested that the polls be held after Muharram.
The meeting also reviewed the reports submitted by the Met Office and provincial election commissioner. The Met Office had informed the ECP of its rain forecast in its report.
On the other hand, the provincial election commissioner in his report had requested the ECP to postpone the polls due to the difficulties being faced in conducting the polls because of damage done by the last rains. He had also stated that the voters may face difficulty in casting their ballots due to the rains forecast on the election dates.
“This decision has been taken based on the report submitted by provincial election commissioner Sindh, requests of the people and report submitted by the Met Office,” said the spokesperson on the postponement.
NA-245 polls also postponed
The ECP also announced that it has postponed the NA-245 by-polls, which were to take place on July 27, for the same reasons. The by-polls will now take place on August 21.
The second phase of the local government polls was to take place in the 16 districts of Karachi and Hyderabad division on July 24.
There are seven districts in the Karachi division — East, West, South, Central, Malir, Korangi and Keamari — and nine districts in the Hyderabad division, which include districts Hyderabad, Tando Mohammad Khan, Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Badin, Dadu, Jamshoro, Thatta and Sujawal.
The by-polls on the NA-245 were scheduled to take place on July 27 as the seat had fallen vacant after the death of PTI MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
The 50-year-old televangelist passed away on June 9.
Karachi to see another monsoon spell
Earlier today, the Met Office had said in a statement that various areas of Sindh, including Karachi, will see another spell of heavy rains .
According to chief meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz, the third monsoon system will penetrate parts of the country from today (Wednesday). The strong system may affect Sindh from July 23 to 26, with heavy rains likely in Karachi from July 24 to 26.
The chief meteorologist stated that moist winds from the Bay of Bengal are strengthening the monsoon system, and moisture coming from the Arabian Sea will support it.
The Met department has forecast heavy rains in the first phase of monsoon until August 15.