ECP rejects KP’s request to hold LG polls next year

ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected the suggestion of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to hold local government elections in the province in March 2022. Briefing the Commission, KP chief secretary said that due to Covid-19 pandemic, law and order situation, environment and flood-related incidents in northern areas of the province, the government intended to hold LG elections in March 2022. The Commission rejected this suggestion and said that the ECP was committed to hold the LG elections in the province at earliest.

The Commission in the meeting chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja directed the officials of the KP government to adopt all measures regarding LG elections as it was the legal and constitutional duty of ECP to hold LG elections in provinces.

The Commission asked KP government officials to take the matter into cabinet and inform ECP of the developments so that Commission could ensure arrangements for timely LG elections.

The ECP secretary during the meeting informed the Commission that ECP had notified delimitation committees and delimitation authority but these bodies could not start work as KP government had failed to provide Commission the names and numbers of the new local councils. The ECP was also informed by the secretary that KP government also failed to amend laws relating to LG polls in the light of recommendations given by the ECP which were necessary for holding LG elections.

It must be noted that KP chief secretary, KP LG secretary and other senior officials represented KP government in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Advisor to Chief Minister Balochistan also attended the meeting and briefed ECP about developments and measures taken by the Baloch government for LG elections.

Briefing the Commission, advisor to Balochistan CM said that cabinet had discussed the matter of LG elections and wanted to upgrade the LG councils and bring some amendments in the laws and rules related to LG and finalisation of maps and other relevant documents after the final publication of census 2017, for which the government needed two to three months to fulfill all these measures.

The CEC Raja Sikandar Sultan gave time of one month for the entire measures and said that the tenure of the LG in Balochistan expired on January 27, 2019 and it was the legal and constitutional duty of ECP to hold elections at earliest.

The Commission asked Balochistan government officials to take matter seriously and inform ECP of the developments within one month, otherwise the Commission will summon Chief Secretary for explanation.

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