The Supreme Court order panicked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) into a ‘state of emergency’.
Immediately after the court ruling, ECP officials went into a huddle to ponder over a tentative schedule for local bodies elections. The commission cancelled the weekly off days of all employees and ordered its offices to remain open on Saturdays and Sundays.
The dates set by the court for LB polls – November 27 for Sindh and December 7 for Punjab and Balochistan – are nothing short of a nightmare for the ECP, sources in the commission told The Express Tribune.
According to them, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Jilani has summoned a high-level meeting on October 28 to review matters pertaining to the conduct of LB elections. All four ECP members have been asked to attend the meeting.
Sources added that another important meeting has been scheduled for October 29, which will be attended by the four provincial chief secretaries, National Database Registration Authority’s chairman, managing directors of the Printing Corporation of Pakistan and Pakistan Security Printing Corporation, and representatives of other concerned departments, including the Statistics and Finance Divisions, and interior ministry officials.
The meetings have been called to discuss how to conduct the LB polls within the timeframe set by the SC.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2013.