The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) declared it would boycott the second round of the local body elections taking place in seven districts of Sindh, including the divisions of Karachi and Hyderabad, only hours before the much-delayed voting was scheduled to begin.
The Sindh administration said that the local body elections will be postponed after the party wanted new delineations; however, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) insisted that the elections proceed as scheduled on January 15 without additional delay.
After attending a significant huddle at the MQM-P’s Bahadurabad headquarters, convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui claimed during a news conference that “our objections regarding the demarcation of local government constituencies have not been resolved despite multiple promises from the provincial administration.”
Mustafa Kamal, Farooq Sattar, Aminul Haq, Faisal Sabzwari, Sadiq Iftikhar, and others were with Siddiqui. ”The Sindh government did its share to resolve our complaints, but the Election Commission of Pakistan did not,” according to MQM-P representatives.
On July 24 of last year, the second round of LG polls was supposed to be held, but the Sindh government cancelled them due to inadequate security and a reduced police presence as a result of flooding. The elections were later moved up to October 23 and August 28. After great anticipation, the elections are finally taking place today.
The Sindh government had requested that the LG polls be postponed earlier in the day, but the ECP once more denied their appeal and reiterated that the LG elections would take place on January 15 as scheduled (today).
The election commission was established, Dr Siddiqui continued, to handle the voting process transparently. “The electoral commission, however, has not upheld its duty to carry out its primary mandate. The group voiced its opposition to this injustice.”
”As a result, the party is abstaining from today’s local body elections in protest,” he said, urging the people of the city to do the same.