IHC issues notice to ECP over postponement of local bodies elections in Islamabad

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Islamabad: Just a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed the local bodies elections in the federal capital, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a notice to the commission on petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) seeking to nullify the ECP’s decision.

The IHC also issued a notice to Attorney-General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan for assisting the court during the hearing.

Election Commission postpones Islamabad local bodies elections

The petitions were filed after the Commission postponed the local bodies elections, which were earlier scheduled for December 31, 2022.

The decision was made by a five-member bench of the ECP headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja following a change in the union councils of the federal capital.

At the outset of Wednesday’s hearing, PTI’s lawyer Sardar Taimoor said that the ECP had issued the schedule for local bodies polls for 50 UCs on June 2.

“The federal government increased the number of union councils to 101. Then, the election commission delayed the polls for fresh delimitation,” the lawyer said.

Later, the ECP issued a revised schedule for the local bodies polls on October 22, and in line with the timetable, the elections were supposed to take place on December 31.

He mentioned that as soon as preparations were done for the polls, the federal government increased the number of the UCs. He added that the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation administrator moved the summary for the new UC 12 days back. “How did the administrator get data that the population had increased without a fresh census?” he wondered.

Following this, the court served notices to the Attorney-General and ECP adjourned the hearing till December 29.