Impossible to mobilize polling staff, material within short time

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Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Tariq Fazal Chaudhry on Saturday defended the government’s decision to defy court orders and not hold local government (LG) polls in the federal capital on Saturday, stating that it was almost impossible to mobilize the necessary staff and material within the short time duration afforded to hold the polls. While talking to media in Islamabad after filing an intra-court appeal before the Islamabad High Court, he said that the mobilization of around 30,000 personnel and the delivery of election materials was not possible within 24 hours. “At least 25,000 electoral staff, including women had to be mobilized for manning the polling stations, which was not possible on the weekend,” he said.

He added that most of this staff comprised teachers under the Islamabad’s Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) – which oversees schools and colleges in the city. This staff, Chaudhry said, is currently on winter vacations. This it was impractical to mobilize them.

Moreover, he said that corresponding security arrangements and mobilization needs to be made apart from preparing and distributing election material.

Chaudhry said that elections in 101 Union Councils (UC’s) were due to be held. He added that in the law recently passed by parliament, the number of UCs in the federal capital were increased to 125 to reflect the increase in the city’s population.—INP