ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced that the local government (LG) polls in Punjab province would be held in the last week of April next year.
The meeting presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, warned a strict action against the Punjab government in case of any change in local government rules as the commission wanted no more delay in the LG polls.
The meeting decided to fix the date of LG polls in last week of April after consulting representatives of the provincial government.
The CEC directed the representatives of Punjab government to immediately provide copies of election rules and data to the Punjab Election Commissioner and District Election Commissioners.
The representatives of the Punjab government assured providing draft rules, made after incorporating ECP’s feedback, for perusal of next cabinet meeting. They also assured providing copies of draft rules to the ECP, District Election Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners.
The CEC said that the elections have not yet been held in Punjab province only due to frequent changes in elections laws and other delaying tactics used by the successive provincial governments.
Briefing the meeting, Secretary Election Commission said that the tenure of local government in Punjab has already ended on January 1, 2022. ECP has completed the delimitation task for holding LG polls twice due to changes in LG laws.
Now the provincial government has notified Punjab Local Government Act on Nov 16, 2022.
ECP was going to start the delimitation process afresh under the new law. But the provincial government has not yet notified Punjab Local Government Delimitation Rules and Punjab Local Government Conduct of Election Rules despite the fact that the provincial government was bound to cooperate with the election commission in light of the constitution, law and directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
ECP Secretary asked the forum to bound the provincial government to immediately provide relevant rules, maps and relevant data to the commission to enable it to initiate the delimitation process.