Saturday Jun 25, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The arrangements have been finalised for the first phase of the local government elections in Sindh’s 14 districts and Swat which will be conducted tomorrow (Sunday), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said Friday.
The polling will go ahead as planned after the Sindh High Court (SHC) dismissed the petitions filed by MQM-P and PTI against holding local bodies elections in Sindh without completion of delimitation and election process and complying with the Supreme Court directives.
The parties had submitted in their petitions that the ECP had issued notifications for holding the LG elections in two phases on June 26 and July 26 without completing the due electoral process.
They had argued that impugned notifications were against the Supreme Court decision in which various vires of the local government act had been declared ultra vires of Section 140 A of the Constitution.
The SHC’s division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito after hearing the arguments of the parties, for a reason to be recorded, later on, dismissed the petitions.
The election commission, in a statement, according to The News, said that the armed forces and Rangers personnel will patrol all the constituencies where elections are to be held — before and during the electoral process.
The commission said it was in contact with the army, Rangers, and other law enforcement agencies, all of whom have assured full cooperation.
The electoral body has already directed the Sindh government to deploy additional police force from other districts to the areas where elections will take place to ensure the holding of peaceful polls and has been assured of implementation.
The 14 districts of Sindh where LG polls are being held include Larkana, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushahro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umarkot and Tharparkar. Besides, local body polls will also be held in district Swat of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The election commission said it will monitor the electoral process before and on the polling day while all the relevant quarters, including the Interior Ministry, will assist it.
ECP said its offices will remain open on Saturday and Sunday and it would be possible to contact its central and provincial control rooms. Moreover, the ECP added police will provide security to the presiding officers and stay with the polling staff till the completion of the polling process.
The election commission said the presiding officers have been issued instructions to keep their location on while taking snapshots of Form 45 and send it to the returning officer in the presence of polling agents.
In case of no Internet connectivity, the presiding officer will submit an original copy to the returning officer besides showing him the snapshot with forensic details, including time and location.
The ECP has also told the candidates that their polling agents should not leave the polling station without a copy of Form 45 duly signed by the presiding officer.