ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday issued a schedule for holding the local bodies (LB) elections in the Punjab and Sindh and said the intending candidates could receive the nomination papers from Saturday (Nov 9) from the respective provincial election commission offices.
According to the schedule, the LB polls in Sindh are to be held on November 27 and in the Punjab on December 7. Earlier, the electoral body had issued the schedule of the LB polls in Balochistan as the candidates in the province have started receiving the nomination papers for contesting the polls.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wrote to the four provinces to carry out the delimitation of constituencies as per the electoral rolls in the run-up to the local bodies polls.Acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani presided over the commission’s meeting that was attended, among others, by the four Election Commission members and the ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan.
The ECP wrote letters to the provincial chief secretaries to carry out delimitation according to the voters lists.Briefing media persons, the ECP secretary said that the LB polls would be held as per the order of the Supreme Court in Sindh on November 27 and in the Punjab on December 7.
He noted the Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) had been asked to ensure timely printing of ballot papers for thepurpose. Similarly, the Pakistan Council of Industrial and Scientific Research (PCSIR) had also been given a similar direction with regard to the production of magnetised ink pads.
The ECP sources conceded to ‘The News’ that the commission found itself in a tight situation as did the two provinces but all-out endeavours would be made to hold the electoral exercise as asked by the apex court. The commission had filed an application for more time to conduct the elections but this was rejected the other day.
The Election Commission has approved the schedule for the local bodies’ polls, according to which nomination papers would be received on November 11-12, objections will be filed on November 13 while scrutiny of the same will be held on November 16-17 while objections against acceptance or rejection of papers would be filed on November 20-21 in Sindh.
The nomination papers can be withdrawn on November 22 while final list of the candidates will be displayed on November 23 and hence contesting candidates will hardly have two days for the campaign.
As for the Punjab, nomination papers will be received by the returning officers on November 11-12, objections will be filed on next day, scrutiny will be held on November 16-17-18, while appeals can be filed and papers can be withdrawn on November 24 and the final list of candidates will be displayed on November 25.
There will be a complete ban on postings and transfers of officials in Sindh and the Punjab during the election period.APP adds: Meanwhile, the candidates have started receiving nomination forms from the provincial Election Commission (EC) office, Quetta, to contest the LB elections to be held in Balochistan in December.
Provincial Election Commissioner, Balochistan, Syed Sultan Bayazeed, said that candidates were visiting the EC Balochistan office and getting the nomination forms. “Following the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Election Commission has finalised preparations for conducting the LB elections in Balochistan and that issuance of nomination forms for 7,189 seats was started on Wednesday,” he said.
He said that the candidates could submit their nomination papers on Nov 7 and 8.The provincial election commissioner said that white ballot papers would be printed for Union Council elections and green for District Council polls.
Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Rabita Committee Member Muhammad Yousuf Shahwani said that his party would fully participate in the forthcoming LB elections in Balochistan and elsewhere in the country.
He was speaking at a press conference at the Quetta Press Club along with the party’s Balochistan organising committee’s In-charge Abdul Khaliq Baloch, Central Executive Council Member Syed Saleem advocate, Quetta Zone In-charge Arbab Abdul Ghani Kansi and members Muhammad Naeem Yousufzai and Mir Jehangir Shahwani, a statement issued by the MQM said.
Yousuf Shahwani, who is also a Member of Sindh Assembly, on this occasion, exhorted the office-bearers and workers of his party’s Balochistan chapter to start preparations for the LB elections.