After removing legal hitches, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday issued a fresh schedule for the first-ever local bodies’ elections in the capital.
However, the polling date of November 30 announced in the previous schedule remains unchanged.
This is the third schedule the top electoral body has announced for local government (LG) elections in Islamabad territory in the last eight months.
The last schedule was announced on August 28, after which the ECP moved the apex court seeking permission to withdraw it saying it was announced before delimitation of constituencies, which per law is incorrect.
The Supreme Court had accepted the plea declaring the ECP is a constitutional body that could take decisions independently.
After getting a favourable ruling, the ECP on September 29 announced to withdraw the schedule announced on August 28.
According to the new schedule, the returning officers (ROs) will start giving nomination forms to intending participants from October 20. The nomination forms along with necessary documents would be submitted from October 26 to 29.
The ROs will conduct scrutiny of applications from November 1 to November 4. Any appeals against the decisions of ROs may be filed within next two days. A final list of candidates contesting elections and election symbols allotted to them would be published on November 11 while November 30 has been fixed as polling day.
Official results will be announced on December 3.
The last LG election in Islamabad was held in 1992 and that too in rural areas. This would be the first time in the city’s short history that residents of urban areas will choose their representatives.
According to the ICT Local Government Act 2015, LG elections in Islamabad will be held on a party-basis. Residents would directly elect a chairman and a vice-chairman [who would contest elections as joint candidates], six general members, two women members, one peasant, one youth, and a non-Muslim member from each union council.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.