KARACHI: As the formal process for the first phase of local government (LG) elections in four divisions of Sindh has already kicked off last month, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Wednesday called for postponement of the elections for the next three to four months citing “harsh weather condition” that may hamper the key democratic process.

The Sindh chapter of the JUI-F approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and sought its nod to delay the LG polls in Sindh stating that such a decision by the constitutional body would strengthen the democratic process and facilitate the people of the province.

“The country in general and Sindh in particular is facing the worst-ever heat conditions this summer,” said Sindh chief of the JUI-F Rashid Mahmood Soomro stated in a letter to the ECP chief and other senior official of the body.

“It would not only be difficult for the parties and candidates to run their election campaigns but also make a very tough job for voters to come out of their homes on the day of polling,” he said, adding: “The Met office has already predicted that the harsh weather conditions are likely to stay in Sindh till the end of June. In such a situation, the schedule announced by the ECP doesn’t help the parties and the voters.”

On April 28, the formal process for the first phase of local government election in four divisions of Sindh had begun.

With June 26 set as the date of polling, elections are to be conducted in the Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions in the first phase.

The Karachi and Hyderabad divisions will go to polls in the second phase that would begin from June 3 with July 24 set as the date of polling.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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