CEC claims no govt in Punjab willing to conduct LG polls

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Terms EVMs ‘political stunt’

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Tuesday said that no government in Punjab was willing to hold local body elections.

A three-member bench headed by the CEC heard a petition concerning local government elections in Punjab where the special secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said that the constituencies have already been delimited twice in the province and now they have to be delimited a third time.

Dissatisfied with the explanation, CEC Raja said that “you think elections can be conducted with Electronic Voting Machines [EVMs]” and added that “you are intentionally adding EVMs to create problems”.

“This is a deliberate [political] stunt,” alleged the CEC as he urged Sumbal to “guide” his “political leadership”. “We will pass an order regarding local body elections in Punjab,” he added.

It may be noted that delays were expected in the local government elections in the province as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government once again considered scrapping or amending the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Punjab Local Government Act 2022.

After coming into power for a short stint in Punjab, the PML-N Hamza Shehbaz’s government had scraped the PTI’s local government act by introducing its own version of local body law in June.

However, after the fall of the PML-N government as a result of by-elections in 20 constituencies of Punjab, the ruling PTI has once again decided to bring its own version of the local body system in the province.

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