ECP appoints polling officers

Thirteen ROs, 26 AROs to oversee July 27 polls in Islamabad Capital Territory


Danish Hussain June 09, 2015
Thirteen ROs, 26 AROs to oversee July 27 polls in Islamabad Capital Territory. STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday notified the appointment of 13 returning officers (ROs) and 26 assistant returning officers (AROs) to conduct the July 27 local government elections in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

According to the notification, the Peshawar regional election commissioner has been appointed as the district returning officer and will oversee the election in 79 union councils (UCs) of ICT, which has 620,165 registered voters.

LG elections were last held in Islamabad in 1992, and only covered the rural areas of the city.

“The ECP will definitely meet the Supreme Court’s schedule for holding LG elections in ICT, provided things go according to plan,” said ECP Spokesperson Khurshid Alam.

Alam said that delimitation of UCs was already in progress and would be completed by July 15, and the final notification of delimitation of constituencies would be issued on the same date.

He said that the ECP has also appointed Punjab Provincial Election Commission Director Sharifullah to hear objections regarding delimitation of UCs.

Urban UCs

Each RO will oversee the electoral process in an average of six UCs, with AROs given three UCs each.

The densely populated residential sectors --- G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, and I-10 --- have been divided into three UCs. Less populated sectors, including E-7, E-8, E-9, F-7, F-8, and F-11, will consist of one UC, while other residential sectors will have two UCs each.

Pending legislation

On May 29, the Senate Committee on Interior headed by Rehman Malik formed a subcommittee to discuss the proposed Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill 2015. The subcommittee was scheduled to table its report on June 11.

The bill was referred to the Senate on April 16 following approval from the National Assembly.

When the bill was tabled in Senate, its “party-less local bodies’ elections in Islamabad” character was challenged by the PPP.

After passage through the Senate Committee on Interior, the bill would be tabled before the Senate, and if the Senate approves the amended bill, which seems likely, it would be referred back to the National Assembly for a fresh vote.

If approved by the NA, the new bill would require the formal approval of the president before becoming law.

According to provisions of the bill, Islamabad residents would directly-elect 1,027 members for the proposed 79 UCs, which will include women, peasants, youth, and non-Muslims representatives.

After the elections, 79 UC chairmen, 26 women representatives, four representatives each for peasants, youth, and non-Muslims, and one technocrat will form the 118-member metropolitan corporation.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2015. 

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