Sunday October 24, 2021

ECP agrees to KP’s proposal on holding LG polls in December in first phase

October 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday agreed to a proposal given by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that in the first phase, the LG elections will be held in December 2021, insisting that the tehsil council polls will also be held, so that all the localities in districts where the elections are held will become functional.

The Election Commission observed that the measure will also reduce expenditures, adding the Election Commission wanted to complete all phases of elections in March 2022.

In this connection, a meeting of the Election Commission was held here which was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. The meeting was attended by members of the Election Commission and senior officers of the Election Commission. The Election Commission was informed that on September 21, 2021, the Election Commission had heard a case regarding the holding of local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in which the provincial government had said that it wanted to hold phased elections in the province.

The commission had directed to give details of the districts included in the first phase and districts included in other phases without waiting for the written order of the Election Commission, so that the first phase elections could be held in December 2021 by the provincial government. But no response was received on which the Thursday’s meeting was called.

Muhammad Atif Khan, Provincial Minister for Food, Dr Kazim Niaz, Chief Secretary, Advocate General and Secretary Local Government, appeared before the Election Commission on behalf of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. They said the first round of elections was scheduled for December 2021 while in the second phase, elections are to be held in May 2022, after which consultations will be held for elections in tehsil councils. However, the ECP did not agree with the proposal. The ECP clarified that after this meeting, it will issue an order on the date of the first phase. It noted the consultation process has been completed. It was made clear that the Election Commission was fully prepared for the elections and the provincial government would provide details of the second phase within a week.

Meanwhile, a two-member bench of the Election Commission heard the case regarding holding of local government elections in Balochistan. The Election Commission was informed that the chief secretary Balochistan and the secretary Local Government had received notices for the Thursday’s hearing.

The chief secretary wrote to the commission that the law and order situation in the province is bad and he could not attend the hearing of the case and clarified that the secretary Local Government will be present during the hearing while the secretary Local Government has written that his flight has been cancelled on October 13, 2021 and he cannot appear before the Election Commission.

The Election Commission took stern notice and issued an order that the chief secretary and the secretary Local Government should appear in person on October 21, 2021 and in case of violation of the order, action would be taken as per law.