KP, ICT yet to recommend date for LB polls
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Monday prepared proposed schedules of local body elections to be held in the provinces of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan which will be announced on November 1st and 5threspectively.
According to the commission the decision was taken at an important meeting of the ECP held in ECP headquarters in Islamabad headed by acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Jilani and was attended by the election commissioners and members of all the four provinces. The meeting reviewed arrangements for local government polls. The Commission directed Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan provinces to finalize arrangements for the local bodies\' elections.
During the ECP meeting, final approval was given for conducting local body elections in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab. Local body elections in Sindh will be held on 27th of next month‚ while Punjab and Balochistan would hold the polls on 7th of December.
According to the proposed schedule, the local bodies elections in Sindh will be held on November 27 and the commission will announce the schedule on November 1st. Nomination papers for Sindh will be received on November 5th. Objections to the nomination will be submitted on November 6, whereas scrutiny of nomination papers will be held from 7 to 8 of November.
Election symbols for the LB polls in Sindh will be allotted on November 13. Polling would take place on November 27 and the official results would be announced on December 3rd.
Similarly the LB elections in Punjab and Balochistan provinces will be held on December 7 and the ECP will announce the schedule on November 5th. Nomination papers will be received by November 8 to 10 for local body elections in Punjab and Balochistan provinces.
Objections to nominations will be received by 11 to 12 November, while the scrutiny phase will be held on 13 to 15 of November. Appeals against rejected nomination papers will be heard on 16 to 18 of November, while nomination papers can be withdrawn by November 22 whereas the final list of candidates will be announced on December 23. The candidates would be allotted electoral symbols on November 27 whereas polling would commence on December 7. Official results would be released on December 10.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Islamabad capital territory has not given any date for LB polls and were yet to recommend a date to the ECP for holding local government elections.
Talking to media after the ECP meeting Additional Secretary ECP Sher Afghan said that time was quite short for the elections and they have shortened the days for each phase of the elections accordingly. He said that the commission had sought some essential documents from the provincial governments that must be provided during the meeting with chief secretaries on October 29.
The documents sought include complete laws by each province for the local body elections, along with the notified rules for conducting of elections. Afghan added that the ECP also needed the final delimitation notifications.
He further said that it was crucial appointment of District Returning Officers (DROs), Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) be completed before the schedule is announced since soon after the schedule is public, the process of disbursing forms for candidates starts immediately and the DROs and ROs are key in that. He said that the commission had sought the provincial governments\' proposals for appointing DROs RO, and ARO at the October 29meeting for swift appointing.
The ECP through a notification restored the membership of 20 lawmakers after they submitted details of their assets. According to ECP notification the lawmakers whose membership was restored include Faisal Raza Abidi, Shahjehan Baloch and Alizeh Iqbal.
Earlier the commission had suspended membership of theses lawmakers after they failed to submit details regarding their assets to the ECP as in accordance to the Representation of People Act 1976, all elected representatives need to declare their asset details annually on September 30.