Sunday, November 27, 2022

ECP set two-week deadline for LG elections in Sindh

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) warned the Sindh High Court on Monday that if the provincial administration does not provide the data for a new delimitation of constituencies by November 30, the commission will commence the procedure.

The ECP made its intentions apparent in a report delivered to a bench led by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh. The ECP’s lawyer stated that on November 10, chief secretary Sindh was represented by the provincial secretary of local government.

According to the constitution, the court must intervene in order to organize local government elections in the province.

The ECP counsel stated that the commission had directed the provincial administration to produce data for the initial delineation of constituencies, but such data had not been provided.

The Sindh government had asked for more time to pass new provincial legislation, according to ECP counsel. He noted that the commission has yet to be given a deadline to enact the new law.

According to the ECP counsel, the commission noticed with worry that the local governments in Sindh had expired on August 30, 2020, and the commission was under constitutional and legal obligation to hold the election within 120 days after the local governments in Sindh had expired.

As soon as the term of local governments in Sindh expired, the ECP published a timetable for delimitation of union councils, union committees, and wards. The panel, claimed the lawyer pointing to the decision given after the November 10 hearing, had been insisting on the Sindh government supplying maps and needed a date for delimitation but it had not been granted yet for various reasons.

Its varied stances for getting more and more time suggest that the government appears not serious about holding local government elections, according to the ECP counsel’s November 10 order.

If the Sindh Chief Secretary fails to provide the necessary legislation and data/notification within two weeks, the commission will begin the delimitation process in the province on December 1, 2021, in accordance with the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 and its rules.

The bench then deferred further hearings until January 24, 2022.

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