ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has presented the proposed schedule for local bodies (LB) polls in Sindh and Punjab; meanwhile the ECP has rejected the requests of Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Council for Scientific and industrial Research (PCSIR) for delaying the LB polls in Punjab.
During a meeting of the ECP on Tuesday, chaired by Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, the commission presented its new proposed schedule for LG polls to be held in Sindh and Punjab. Federal Secretaries of different ministries‚ provincial election commissioners, secretary election commission, members of the election commission, chief secretaries of four provinces‚ Chairman NADRA and Managing Director Printing Corporation of Pakistan attended the meeting.
During the meeting the officials of the PCSIR showed their inability to prepare the magnetic ink for the LB polls. The PCP showed inability to print the ballot papers in the proposed time period. The ECP rejected the requests of both institutions.
Meanwhile the chief secretary Balochistan requested the ECP to change the schedule of LB polls in the province saying that the ballot papers were burnt in some of the areas of the province during the protests. The ECP rejected the request of chief secretary Balochistan for changing the schedule of LB polls.
According to the proposed schedule, the notice for LB polls in Sindh and Punjab would be issued on 29 November.
Nomination papers of candidates will be accepted from 10-13 December and objections can be filled till 14 December. The scrutiny phase will be held from 15 to 19 December.
From 20-21 December appeals against the decisions of Returning Officers will be filed which will be heard from 22-25 December.
The Election Commission announced that local government (LG) elections in the province of Sindh would be held on Jan 18 and on Jan 30 in Punjab.
Polling in cantonment boards and Islamabad will also take place in February.
Justice Tassaduq Jilani called upon the departments concerned to extend full cooperation to the Commission for holding of transparent polls.
He said that it is the democratic right of people to have access to the local government.
Earlier, the ECP had cancelled its schedule for LG polls in Punjab and Sindh and convened a meeting today to prepare a plan for holding the polls in January. According to the earlier schedule which now stands cancelled, polls in Sindh and Punjab were to be held on Nov 27 and Dec 7.
The decision to cancel the schedule was taken after the Supreme Court accepted the commission’s plea for postponement of the polls on account of lack of preparation by the provinces and other problems faced.