ISLAMABAD - The election commission has announced that the schedule for the local bodies elections may change if the ballot papers are not printed within the given timeframe.

Sharing details about ECP’s Tuesday meeting, [Elections] Director General Sher Afgan said the commission was finding ways to hold the local bodies elections as per schedule. He informed newsmen that a meeting of Printing Press of Pakistan and other departments concerned had been summoned on Tuesday [today] to have their input about printing of over 500 million ballot papers.

A tentative schedule for the local bodies elections had been shared with the provincial chief election commissioners, while the details about the schedule for polling in each prince would be made public once the ECP completed its homework, Afgan said following the meeting which was chaired by Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani and attended by representatives of NADRA, Printing Press of Pakistan and PSSIR.

According to the ECP official, the elections schedule for Sindh would be announced on November 1 and for Punjab and Balochistan on November 5.

Afgan, to a question, the meeting also took up the matter of election tribunals and that the chief election commissioners held out assurances about setting up election tribunals before the commencement of elections.

ECP’s Tuesday meeting decided that the Rangers and army would be deployed at all sensitive polling stations pointed out by the chief election commissioners. The meeting also learnt that the process of redrawing constituencies in three provinces was almost completed.

Earlier, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tasadduq Jillani expressed satisfaction over the reports presented by the provinces on their preparedness for the local bodies elections. He also said there was no need for locking horns over non-issues.

The meeting decided that the district administration officials would perform the duties of returning officers. The meeting was informed that a sum of Rs6.5 billion would be required for elections and that despite economic constraints the federal government would provide these funds.