Wednesday, October 26, 2022
No government in Punjab is willing to hold local government elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja said on Tuesday.
A three-member bench headed by the chief election commissioner heard a petition concerning the local government polls in the province, The News reported.
The Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) special secretary said that delimitation of constituencies was already done twice in the province and now they had to do it again for a third time.
"A copy of the rolls is required," he added.
Acting Punjab Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal told the commission that the demarcation will be completed soon and that a separate constituency will be formed for every population of 25,000.
“The Punjab government should provide us with the required documents,” said the CEC adding that demarcation for the third time was no laughing matter.
“If the ECP can conduct the local government elections as per the previous rules, then the schedule will be issued today in Punjab,” he added.
Addressing the chief secretary, CEC Raja said: "If the LG elections are to be held on the basis of the new law, then please provide us with guarantees."
"No government is willing to conduct the LG elections," he said, directing the provincial secretary to submit a letter to the Supreme Court on the matter.
However, Sumbal informed the electoral watchdog that the Punjab Assembly had passed a new bill that will become law in another 10 days. “Let’s follow the new law. We will follow the timeline,” he added.
Dissatisfied with the explanation, CEC Raja said if he thought the elections could be conducted using electronic voting machines [EVMs] adding, “Are you intentionally adding EVMs to create problems?”
“This is a deliberate [political] stunt,” the CEC said.
He asked Sumbal to guide his political leadership. "We will pass an order regarding the local bodies elections in Punjab?” he questioned.