Provincial govts should complete LB elections preparations by Aug15: SC

ECP says it needs at least 90 days after the request of provincial govts to arrange elections.


Mudassir Raja July 22, 2013
The Sindh govt said it would be better if the elections were to be held after Dec31, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed all provincial governments and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to complete their legal preparations with respect to local bodies elections by August 15. 

It further added that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should have the elections arranged by September 15.

“Governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and ICT administration are allowed to complete the process of promulgating new laws and initiate the delimitation process to ensure early holding of local bodies elections," said a three-judge Supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The bench comprised of Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.

It observed that the elections need to be held in order to enable the general public to participate in good governance.

Director General Elections ECP, Sher Afgan apprised the bench of the legal requirement which states that the commission needs to be given at least 90 days to hold elections after provincial government's request.

Afgan said that in normal course the ECP needed 60 days to hold general elections while in the case of assemblies dissolving, they would require 90 days.

However, Advocate General Punjab Mustafa Ramday said that the provincial government only needed between two to three weeks.

AG Sindh Khalid Javaid said that Sindh government would also be prepared but opined that it would be better if they were given time till December 31, 2013.

The governments of Balochistan and K-P had given their consents earlier and sought a definite date from the ECP.

Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti representing ICT administration said the federal government was ready to hold LB polls in the rural areas of the capital but needed amendments in local government act 1979 to hold elections in urban areas of Islamabad.

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