ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decides to lock horns with the provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab as it plans to move the Supreme Court seeking to cut the granted time of five months for Local Bodies’ legislation and increase the time given to the commission for delimitation.
At least one official in ECP (name kept anonymous in original report) felt the anxiety of the Supreme Court’s decision in which the apex court granted only 45 days to prepare the delimitation in whole Punjab and Sindh.
The ECP official believed that the delimitation exercise would require around six months while local government laws of the two provinces were almost ready and needed few amendments which could be passed in weeks if not in days.
He said the provinces were to finalise local government laws by Aug 19 and the leftover period of less than three months prior to Nov 15 — the deadline set for holding the polls — would be insufficient for getting 300 million ballot papers for Punjab printed.
The official pointed out that after the completion of delimitation exercise, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) would be required to adjust the electoral rolls to bring it in conformity with the blocks defined in the delimitation, which may also take months.
If the judgement of the Supreme Court continued to hold the field, the LG polls in Punjab and Sindh in 2014 would remain under the shadow of doubt, he said. He said the Printing Corporation of Pakistan had informed the commission last year that it would need about four months for printing ballot papers for Punjab.