Pakistani election authorities postponed crucial by-elections in 13 constituencies across the country on Thursday, citing devastating floods and terrorism as reasons for the decision.
The Pakistan Election Commission said in a statement that because of the devastating flood, the government is unable to provide security at polling stations since several agencies, including the army, are engaged in relief and rescue operations in affected areas.
By-elections were set for Sept. 11, Sept. 25, and Oct. 2 in 13 constituencies in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
“It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to hold peaceful elections and the availability of Pakistan Army, Rangers and Constabulary is necessary for the conduct of peaceful elections,” the commission stated.
The authorities also cited recent terror attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a justification for postponing the by-elections.
Therefore, the elections in these constituencies have been postponed, and new dates will be notified in accordance with the schedule as soon as the situation improves, it added.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was running from nine National Assembly constituencies across three provinces.
The Pakistani government has already deployed army personnel to assist civil administrations in flood-stricken areas with ongoing relief efforts, as over 33 million people affected by the devastating flood since mid-June.