ECP announces local govt elections for Islamabad on Dec 24

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Zubair Qureshi

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday issued a schedule for holding of local government elections in Islamabad on December 24.

While issuing the schedule, the ECP has banned transfer and posting of government officers and officials till elections are held.

“No transfer and postings of the government officers and officials including autonomous bodies and authorities shall be made in Islamabad without prior approval of Election Commission till the publication of election results,” read the notification.

It also stated that no leave will be granted in Islamabad to government officers and officials including autonomous bodies without prior approval of ECP and till the publication of elections results.

Whereas the ECP also stated “All Executive Authorities in Federation and in the provinces shall neither announce any new development project nor use state resources in local government elections calculated to influence the elections in favour of a particular candidate,” read the notification.

“Public Notice Inviting nomination papers to be issued by the Returning Officers on 01-11-2022,” it said and added that Nov 7 to Nov 11, candidates could file nomination papers.

Similarly, the notification said that after completing other procedures, the ECP will allot symbols to contesting candidates on Dec 1 and finally elections will be held on 24-12-2022.

The local government completed its five-year term in February 2021 and elections were slated to be held within three months, but the same were not held as the previous government wanted to get the election conducted on the basis of new delimitation, increasing numbers of Union Councils from 50 to 100. However, the PTI failed to get the local government Act of 2015 amended from parliament to increase numbers of seats. Resultantly, ECP decided to hold the elections on the basis of the previous Act. Later, the LG polls scheduled for July 31 this year were once again postponed on the order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the ECP should first complete a new delimitation of constituencies and issue a new schedule within 65 days.

At the request of the political parties the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the LG polls were postponed. The parties had requested a postponement of the elections, arguing for updated delimitation after the government increased the number of union councils from 50 to 101. Now as per the orders of the IHC, the local government elections in Islamabad would be held in 101 UCs.

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