PPP Karachi rally cancelled in wake of worsening COVID-19 situation

PPP on Sunday said it is cancelling a rally scheduled in Karachi ahead of the NA-249 by-polls, citing coronavirus concerns.

The party had made full preparations for the rally ahead of the by-election in which their candidate Abdul Qadir Mandokhel is in the race against 29 other candidates.

The development follows a cancellation by the PML-N of their campaign rally in the city.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz was scheduled to arrive on Saturday but the party announced she will no longer be flying, shortly before she was scheduled to make the trip.

ECP turns down request to defer polls

Three days ago, the constituency’s district returning officer Nadeem Haider said that the Election Commission of Pakistan had rejected a request made by PPP, MQM and PTI seeking a postponement of the NA-249 by-elections.

“There has been no change in the by-election date. The by-poll will be held on April 29,” said the DRO.

The Sindh government, PTI and MQM in a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), had requested postponement of the NA-249 by-election until the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

The move was opposed by the PML-N.

The ECP has ordered strict implementation of coronavirus SOPs during the by-polls in NA-249. Special staff will also be deployed for implementation of coronavirus SOPs.

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