Use new census blocks for delimitations, ECP tells provinces
04 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday urged the federating units to make the new census blocks of 2012 as the basis of delimitations in the run-up to the local bodies elections, as they insisted on opting for the old blocks.
Sources privy to the Election Commission's meeting here told that the provinces had joined hands to make the blocks of the 1998 census basis of delimitations, which were used in the local bodies polls afterwards even during the era of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
They claimed that it was quite likely that the Punjab, where the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in power as in the Centre, would stick to its contention of holding the local bodies polls on non-party basis.
The meeting was informed that Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan had enacted the local bodies laws while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was in the process of enacting the related law. The meeting that was scheduled to conclude by 4:00pm ended at the lunch break after formation of five committeesm, one at national level while the rest at the provincial levels.
In his speech, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani said it was pertinent to point out that care must be taken that new census blocks were made the basis of delimitations and while demarcating a union council, a census block was not broken, as it might create complications for the Election Commission to prepare electoral rolls for the elections.
It was also learnt that barring Punjab, other three provinces were prepared for holding the elections on party basis and in this connection wanted to follow the model of Balochistan. The population-wise largest province was adamant on holding the exercise on non-party basis.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said all the provinces were willing to hold the elections as early as possible.
He explained that the committees would look into issues such as the local bodies laws (operative), rules for conduct of elections, notification regarding delimitation of union councils and related matters and would present their respective recommendations to the Election Commission's next meeting slated for October 22.
To a question, he said that in the first week of December, the provinces would approach the commission for the conduct of polls and 30 days would be required prior to the issuance of election schedule.
The ECP secretary maintained that after the 18th amendment, it was the responsibility of the Election Commission to conduct the local bodies elections. For this purpose, he pointed out that 60 million ballot papers would be printed, whereas for the May general elections 20 million ballot papers were printed.He noted that it was unfortunate that during the tenure of previous government, local bodies polls were not held that was violation of the constitution.