ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) yesterday asked local government election contestants to attach party tickets with their nomination papers, without which papers of the candidates associated with political parties would not be entertained.

As the ECP is giving final touches to preliminary formalities ahead of local government (LG) elections in the Punjab and Sindh to be held on October 31, it has issued guidelines to the heads of political parties for awarding tickets to their candidates in the polls.

The candidates will have to submit party tickets at the time of scrutiny of nomination papers for which the ECP has advised political parties to nominate office bearers in each division to award tickets to contesting candidates.

“Since there may be a large number of contesting candidates submitting nomination papers, they are advised to furnish party tickets and cooperate with returning officers in reducing the workload,” the statement issued here said.

The commission said the party tickets awarded either by the party heads or their authorised office-bearers should be issued latest by September 11 for the first phase of the elections for the purpose of allotment of election symbols.

In another notification, the ECP said it had authorised district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs) to exercise magisterial powers during the LG elections, which would enable them to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for law breakers and imprison them for six months.

The ECP also issued a notification on appellate authorities in the divisions of the Punjab to enable candidates to lodge their grievances with the courts concerned for disposal of appeals against the decisions of ROs accepting or rejecting nomination papers filed by candidates.