IHC orders ECP to hold Islamabad LG polls on December 31
The Islamabad High Court on Friday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local government elections in the federal capital on December 31 (tomorrow).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami had challenged the ECP’s notification of postponing the local body polls in the Islamabad High Court.
While pronouncing the brief verdict, IHC’s Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir High nullified the Election Commission’s decision and ordered to hold LG elections tomorrow.
“The Election Commission of Pakistan is directed to hold the local government elections in the Islamabad Capital Territory as per the schedule already announced i.e. on 31.12.2022,” it said.
On Tuesday, the ECP had postponed the LG polls “for the time being” at the last minute, frustrating thousands of contestants and their supporters.
“Keeping in view the legal provisions and the judgement of the Honourable High Court, Islamabad dated Dec 27, 2022, regarding the subject matter. Local Government Elections in ICT scheduled to be held on Dec 31, 2022, is hereby postponed for the time being,” the short order by the ECP said.
The federal government had earlier this month approved a summary to increase the number of union councils of the federal capital from existing 101 to 125.
The Islamabad’s population increased to 205 million in the last five years and, therefore, it is appropriate that the number of union councils may be enhanced to 125, it claimed.
It stated that Section 4 (1) and 6 (1) of the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015 authorises the federal government to determine the number of union councils within Islamabad through notification published in the official gazette.