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A representational image of woman casting her vote. — AFP

KARACHI: The long-awaited local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad are set to be held on January 15 as the authorities have completed the preparations for the electoral process, sources told Geo News on Sunday.

Second phase of the local government election will finally take place after multiple delays and deferrals following the announcement of the verdict on MQM-P’s plea against dual voter lists, by the bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Sources said the reserved verdict on MQM-P’s plea against dual voter lists would be pronounced tomorrow. The ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja reserved its verdict on Friday.

Sources say that the Election Commission has rejected MQM-P’s allegations regarding using dual voter lists and completed all preparations for the LG polls in Karachi and Hyderabad. The local body elections in Sindh’s two most populous cities will be held on the old voter lists.

It should be noted that the CEC, during the hearing on MQM’s request, said that local elections in Karachi could not be postponed anymore.

Second phase

The ECP had told the Sindh government that the second phase of the local government polls in Karachi and Hyderabad would be held on July 24, 2022, but then it postponed them because of torrential rains and subsequent floods in the province.

The electoral body rescheduled the LG elections for August 28, but they were put off again for the same reason.

The commission had said that most polling stations had been inaccessible to the voters.

On October 18, the ECP rescheduled the elections for October 23, but the provincial government sought their postponement for three months because it had deployed police in the flooded areas, due to which it was unable to provide the required level of security to the polling stations.

After the repeated delays, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) moved the Sindh High Court, which on November 15 instructed the ECP to announce the date for the LG elections within 15 days.

On November 22, the ECP announced January 15 as the new date.

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