PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Friday halted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)'s decision for re-polling in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Muhammad Daud Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser took the decision on a petition filed by Zahid Durrani, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA from Mardan. The bench ordered the election commission to stop the re-polling scheduled to be held on July 5 in the province.
Read: LG polls: ECP to conduct re-elections in over 300 polling stations
Adjourning the next hearing of the case, the court issued a notice to the election commission to respond to several petitions and fixed July 14 as the next date of hearing.
"The DRO who is commissioner Mardan through a letter on June 3 had stated that without proper security by the armed forces, local government elections could never be free and fair," said the petition of Durrani quoting the letter.
Further, it said the re-polling on 365 polling stations on July 5 being the off shoot of the local government election of May 30 is unlawful, without jurisdiction.
The petitioner also requested the court to direct the respondents to hold fresh and fair elections of LG in KP according to the law.
Re-polling was ordered by the Election Commission of Pakistan in over 300 polling stations last month after evidences of irregularities were found in the polling process at these polling stations.
The election commission received complaints of irregularities and mishaps during polling on May 30 and has hence decided to conduct polls again in tehsil, village and neighbourhood councils in 13 districts.
Read: Stage two: Police demand funds for re-polls
Under the K-P local government act, each voter is given ballot papers of seven different categories for voting. In what was a very complicated exercise which took a voter around 15 minutes to poll his/her vote under the scorching heat. Violence was also reported in many areas of the province on the polling day.
Other than the polling stations and constituencies where re-polls were ordered, the ECP had asked the complainants of other areas to approach post-election tribunals with their complaints. A total of 92 tribunals were set up in K-P for LG elections related complaints.
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