Islamabad - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday announced the schedule for local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is to complete Local Government (LG) elections in remaining three provinces by March next year”, ECP acting Secretary Sher Afgan told a press conference.

He was speaking after a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan finalised the timetable of LG polls. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) will be ready for LG polls by May 2015, Punjab by November 2015 and Sindh by March 2016.

Sher Afgan said all the three provinces have informed the commission regarding delimitations and other arrangements. The ECP, he said, will submit a response to the Supreme Court on February 12 regarding specific dates for local government elections.

The acting Secretary said that elections in Punjab, however, can only take place once the provincial government hands over data regarding delimitation of certain districts to the ECP.

According to the representative from Sindh, the province will gear up for local bodies’ polls by March 2016. The Sindh government is yet to amend laws relating to local government polls as proposed by the ECP.

The representative from KP told members of the meeting that the province will be ready for polls by May this year. Representatives of cantonments said they have sent an ordinance regarding LG polls to the law ministry and were waiting for a response.

On the other hand, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has said that the government will hold local government elections as soon as the delimitation process of constituencies is completed.

The PML-N was ready to hold polls in Punjab but the process was marred with legal complications, he added. “Now the legal complications have been eliminated but the ECP has to complete the delimitation process of constituencies. We will hold the polls as soon as this matter is resolved,” Rashid said.

Last year, the ECP had blamed the delay in local government elections on lack of political will on part of provincial governments. The ECP had earlier said that the process of delimitation of wards for holding the local government elections would be initiated when the commission received complete data from Punjab and Sindh.

“The ECP is committed to initiating the process of delimitation for local government polls as early as possible after the receipt of complete information relating to notification of demarcation of local areas, determination of number of union councils/wards and authenticated maps from the Punjab and Sindh governments as well as amendments in the respective acts by the two provinces,” the commission had said in a report presented to the SC.

Balochistan was the first province to complete the electoral exercise. The first phase of the LG elections in Balochistan took place on Dec 7, 2013, followed by two other phases on May 29 and Dec 31, 2014.