Punjab decides to hold LG polls on Dec 7
22 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has decided to hold local body elections in the province on December 7.
The provincial government has informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that it will be ready to hold the local body elections on December 7.
In its request to the ECP, the Punjab government stated that objections regarding delimitation will be removed in one week. Following this, the notification for delimitation would be issued. The PPP and PTI have expressed their reservations over the Punjab government's announcement to hold the elections on a non-party basis.
The Sindh and Punjab governments have informed the Supreme Court that all the formalities to hold the local government elections in the respective provinces have been completed and the elections would be held on the dates announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have to now passed the requisite law for holding local government elections.
Balochistan has also passed the law and delimitation there is in final stages. The court directed both the advocates general to submit statements on behalf of their respective chief executives regarding holding of elections in the last week of November.
ECP Director General Sher Afgan told the bench that it was not possible for the commission to hold elections until the provinces compete the legal steps and hand over a final notification of the delimitation. The court snubbed him and asked why was the commission dragging its feet on the holding of elections. "If the procedure has not been completed by the provinces then we will issue an order to the ECP for holding elections under the old setup," the chief justice said.
"Go and announce final schedule for elections at least in the Punjab and Sindh provinces as both the provinces have completed legal requirements," said the chief justice whose term will expire in December this year.
Meanwhile, Punjab Additional Advocate General Hanif Khatana told the court that the relevant law had been made and the rules for holding elections have also been prepared, while delimitation is also complete, but only objections have to be heard and hopefully by November 4 the gazette notification would be issued of it.
Sindh Advocate General Khalid Javed also said that legislation and delimitation were complete and only objections have to be heard. He said that on Sunday Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had said in a meeting that now it was the responsibility of the ECP to hold local body elections as the provincial government was ready for the task and would provide full assistance to the ECP.