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October 2, 2020

ECP seeks virus report from ministry, NCOC to decide on bye-polls

Islamabad

October 2, 2020

Islamabad : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday asked the Ministry of Health and the National Command and Operation Centre to provide a full report on the current state of the coronavirus so that a decision could be made regarding NA and PAs by-elections.

Different factors, including the virus, continue to impede the progress towards holding of the local government elections in the provinces. A meeting of the ECP was held here under the chairmanship of Sikandar Sultan Raja, Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan. Members of Election Commission, Secretary Election Commission, DG Law and other senior officers attended the forum.

The ECP secretary and the DG (Law) apprised the meeting of the progress made so far regarding the conduct of local body and by-elections in the country, legal complications and other obstacles. The Commission was briefed on by-elections of national and provincial assemblies.

The Ministry of Health and the National Command and Operations Center were again asked to provide a full report to the Election Commission on the current state of the virus pandemic so that in the light of it, a decision could be taken on holding of bye-elections, keeping in view the SOPs. The meeting noted the report was still awaited.

The Election Commission was informed that in Sindh, the Election Commission was ready for delimitation. In this regard, the appointment of delimitation officers and the schedule of delimitation was also notified, after which at the request of the Sindh government and PPP leaders that the Election Commission could not carry out the exercise on the preliminary figures of the 2017 census, the Election Commission postponed the schedule in Sindh in view of the request of the Sindh government.

After the meeting, the ECP directed that the concerned officials of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and National Command and Operations Center be re-written to ensure positive and prompt implementation of the letters written by the ECP so that they could ensure holding of by-elections on vacant seats of provincial assemblies and local body elections in the provinces.

The Election Commission also considered that if necessary, the Secretary Parliamentary Affairs and the Secretary Law and Justice should be invited to assist the Election Commission.