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Wednesday May 22, 2024

No govt in Punjab willing to hold LG polls: CEC

By Sabah
October 26, 2022
CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja. —File Photo
CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja Tuesday said no government in Punjab was willing to hold the local government elections. He passed these remarks while presiding over a three-member bench that heard a petition concerning the LG polls in the province.

The ECP special secretary said the constituencies had already been delimited twice in the province and now they had to be delimited a third time. A copy of the rolls is required, he added.

Acting Chief Secretary Punjab Abdullah Khan Sumbal told the commission that the demarcation will be completed soon and that a separate constituency will be formed for every population of 25,000. “The Punjab government should provide us with the required documents,” said the CEC adding that demarcation for the third time was no laughing matter.

“If the ECP can conduct the local government elections as per the previous rules, then the schedule will be issued today in Punjab,” he added. If the LG elections are to be held on the basis of the new law, then please provide us with guarantees, he said addressing the chief secretary. No government is willing to conduct the LG elections, he said and directed the provincial secretary to submit a letter to the Supreme Court on the matter.

However, Sumbal informed the electoral watchdog that the Punjab Assembly had passed a new bill that will become a law in another 10 days. “Let’s follow the new law. We will follow the timeline,” he added. Dissatisfied with the explanation, CEC Raja said if he thought the elections could be conducted using the electronic voting machines [EVMs] adding, “Are you intentionally adding EVMs to create problems?”

“This is a deliberate [political] stunt,” the CEC said and asked Sumbal to guide his political leadership. We will pass an order regarding the local bodies elections in Punjab?” he added.