ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked the Punjab government to increase the number of election symbols to 100 since it would be holding the local government elections on non-party basis.
The Punjab Local Government Law 2013, which has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC), had proposed 60 election symbols for the contesting candidates. However, the ECP has suggested the authorities amend the law and increase the number of symbols to 100.
Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) both have challenged the Punjab LG law for holding elections on non-party basis. On the other hand, Sindh and Balochistan governments have decided to hold elections in their respective provinces on party basis whereas Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has announced to have mixed elections — party basis in large towns and cities and non-party in the rest of the province.
Beside pointing out changes, the poll body has asked the Punjab government to formally inform it after making amendments in the rules. The ECP has also pointed out to Punjab that in its rules appellate authorities be changed from commissioners to judicial officers (district session judges).
ECP has also directed the K-P government, which was in the process of devising LG law, to take these instructions in account while framing its rules.
Punjab government is supposed to complete prerequisites for holding the LG polls by November 7 — that includes framing of rules and completion of delimitation process. Once the rules are framed and delimitation is completed, then the ECP will announce the election schedule.
Sources told The Express Tribune that ECP was likely to file a petition in the SC on Monday (today), as announced by the Secretary ECP, to apprise the court about ground realities.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th,2013.