ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has held the federal and provincial governments responsible for failure in holding local government polls in Islamabad.
The ECP, in its response submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), said that the federal and provincial governments cause hindrance when the electoral body is fully prepared to hold the polls.
“ECP is bound to hold elections within 120 days but it faces difficulty in conducting the process when the federal and provincial governments amend laws,” the commission stated.
The ECP stated that it is serious about fulfilling its constitutional responsibility. However, it suggested making no changes to the laws before the elections.
Instead, amend Article 140 (A) of the Constitution and Election Act 219, it said.
The commission issued the directives for holding timely LG polls but the high court nullified it, the electoral body stated.
“Under section 219 (1), the local government shall conduct elections subject to the rules, however, when the preparations for the elections are completed, changes in the laws by the federal and provincial governments hinder the timely conduct of the elections,” the response added.
It said that the ECP authorities approached the attorney-general as per the court’s order. At this, the AG contacted the law minister, who initially asked to conduct the LG polls in six months but the ECP insisted on conducting it within 120 days.
Later, the law minister expressed consent on conducting the polls in four months, the Commission said.
It further stated that the AG also contacted the interior ministry officials after which Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah called a meeting today.
Later, the court reserved its verdict.