Govt to challenge IHC decision to hold LG poll
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The federal government has decided to challenge the order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to hold local body elections in Islamabad on December 31 (tomorrow), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Munawar Iqbal Duggal, Additional Attorney General, confirming the move said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is going to file an intra-court appeal against the decision.
The ECP held an emergency meeting after the IHC on Friday directed the ECP to hold local government elections in the capital city on December 31 (tomorrow) and set aside the ECP’s order dated Dec 27 on the postponement of the polls.
The verdict was pronounced by IHC Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, who was hearing petitions filed by the PTI and the Jamaat-i-Islami against the ECP’s decision.
During the meeting of ECP, it has been decided to file an intra-court appeal against the court’s verdict. The election commission will seek at least a week to conduct the polls stating it requires time for the printing and delivery of ballot papers, the sources said.
ECP officials also held a meeting with Munawar Iqbal Duggal Additional Attorney General over the inability to conduct the polls. Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Raja also reached Islamabad and held a meeting on the situation.
The election commission has expressed its inability in the meeting to conduct the local government elections within a day, the sources said. The deployment of polling and security personnel would become a major challenge for the election commission, it adds.
Sources said more than 14,000 members of the polling staff were teachers and employees of other departments and they were on winter vacation, hence making it difficult for the ECP to conduct the election. The delivery of polling materials to the polling station and setting up polling booths is a huge challenge.
The LG polls in the capital city were scheduled to be held on Dec 31 but the ECP postponed these due to the government’s decision of increasing the number of union councils (UCs) in the city.
Munawar Iqbal Duggal said that the certified copy of the decision has been obtained from IHC and the work of preparing the intra-court appeal is going on.
The government will also request to IHC for hearing the intra-court appeal today.