LG polls to be held in Punjab in the last week of April 2023: ECP
LAHORE ( Web News )
The Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced to hold long-delayed local bodies elections in Punjab in the last week of April 2023.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Sultan Sikandar Raja. The meeting was attended by members of the Election Commission, Secretary ECP, chief secretary Punjab, secretary local government Punjab and officers of the ECP and government of Punjab.
The meeting was briefed that the top election body had to delimit the constituencies for the third time.
The ECP directed the Punjab government to provide an updated copy of local bodies election laws, union councils and maps so the elections could be held as soon as possible.
The chief election commissioner said that the ECP would hold LG polls by using its constitutional authority if the laws are amended again.
The Commission blamed the provincial government for the delay in the LG polls, saying amending the rules from time to time caused the delay.
Chief Secretary Punjab said that the ECP should keep in mind the month of Ramadan while announcing the proper date for holding local government elections in Punjab. Upon this the ECP decided to hold Local Government elections in Punjab at the last week of April 2023.
Earlier this year, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power in Punjab for a short period and it replaced the PTI’s local bodies’ laws with its own version.
After the former chief minister Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif -led government was removed, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) regained control of the province and they repealed the PML-N’s version concerning LG polls.
The Punjab’s most recent LG elections were held on a party basis in light with a verdict of the Supreme Court. However, the election members could not serve the people as the PTI had rendered the local bodies financially and administratively ineffective and their termed expired in 2021.
According to the latest Punjab Local Government Act 2022, the election for mayor of the metropolitan corporations and District Council in all divisional headquarters will be held by direct voting.