Aaj English TV

Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

ECP rejects KP govt’s plea seeking delay in second phase of LG polls

The elections will be held on March 31
A two-member ECP bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Member ECP Nisar Ahmed Durrani heard the case. File photo
A two-member ECP bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Member ECP Nisar Ahmed Durrani heard the case. File photo

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected the petition of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government seeking delay in the second phase of the local government elections, and retained its schedule, announced earlier, to hold the polls on the coming March 31.

A two-member ECP bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Member ECP Nisar Ahmed Durrani heard the case and reserved its verdict that was announced later in the day.

KP Advocate General, Shumail Butt, represented the provincial government.

In the short order, the ECP bench dismissed the plea of the provincial government seeking postponement of the LG polls in 18 districts under the second phase on account of weather conditions.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the plea of the KP government to set aside the ECP’s decision to hold LG polls on March 31. The apex court, in its order, stated that the ECP was mandated to hold electoral schedule and hold LG polls.

On February 4, the ECP suspended arrangements for LG polls following the Peshawar High Court (PHC)’s order to postpone the polls that were earlier scheduled on March 27. The PHC, on a petition moved by a citizen, directed the ECP to hold LG elections in the 18 districts after Ramazan, on account of “expected snowfall” in several parts of these districts.

The ECP moved the SC against the PHC’s order revised LG polls date from March 27 to March 31.

Initially, the LG elections were scheduled in these districts on January 16, but revised to March 27 by the ECP on a petition by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Member National Assembly (MNA) Murtaza Abbasi. Abbasi moved electoral body for delaying the LG polls on account of heavy snowfall in parts of the KP.

The 18 districts where second phase of village/neighbourhood and tehsil/city council elections is scheduled are: Swat, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Upper Chitral, Lower Chitral, Shangla, Malakand, Kurram, Orakzai, Abbottabad, Battagram, Kolai Pallas, Mansehra, Torghar, Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan.

On December 19, 2021, LG elections for village/neighbourhood and tehsil/city councils were held in 17 districts: Peshawar, Buner, Bajaur, Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Tank, Haripur, Khyber, Mohmand, Charsadda, Hangu, and Lakki Marwat.

The polls saw several incidents of widespread violence with fingers categorically pointed at the ECP by political and public circles for its failure to ensure peaceful polls.

The ECP finally held re-polling at 221 polling stations of the first phase on February 13.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on February 16, 2022.

For the latest news, follow us on Twitter @Aaj_Urdu. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Election commission of Pakistan

local government elections

second phase