Second phase of the local government elections in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa postponed till March this year.
The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday rescheduled the second phase of local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 18 districts from Jan 16 to March 27 due to harsh weather at the request of the provincial government and political parties.
The first phase of the LG polls was held in 17 districts on December 19 last year.
The decision of election rescheduling was made by three-member ECP bench consisting of its chairman Sikandar Sultan Raja, Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi during a hearing into the applications of political parties.
Applications were submitted to the ECP for the election rescheduling by different political leaders, including Abbottabad MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Mansehra MPA Sardar Mohammad Yousaf, Sadeedur Rehman of Shangla, Ihtisham Khursheed of Mansehra and Ajmal Khan of Battagram. The applicants had sought the postponement of elections until April 2022 citing weather conditions in the remaining districts of the province like Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan, Torghar, Swat, Shangla, Chitral, Lower and Upper Dir and other hilly areas.
They pleaded that it would not be possible for voters to come out and vote for the candidates due to extreme snowy and rainy weather. The applicants had stated that due to blockage of roads and other communication modes, the process of election may be affected and about 80 per cent of voters may be deprived of voting due to a lack of transportation and other communication modes.
Secretary of the local government department Shakeel Ahmed, who was also heard by the bench, approved the request of the applicants and requested for holding elections of the second phase in May 2022 or at the end of March before Ramazan.
The election commission exercising its inherent powers accedes to the request of the petitioners in the instant matter and orders holding of 2nd phase elections on 27th march instated of 16th January,” reads the order of the commission.”, reads the order.
Meanwhile, the ECP also issued schedule for the holding local body elections on various seats of local councils, where polling was terminated due to the death of contesting candidates in the first phase of elections held on Dec 19, 2021.
According to the schedule, elections will be held on Feb 13 in such areas including different seats in DI Khan, Mardan, Charsadda, Lakki Marwat, Bajaur and Kohat. According to the schedule, public notice to be issued on Jan 7 by the returning officers inviting nomination papers and dates for filing nomination papers with the returning officers from Jan 10 to Jan 12, while the names of the nominated candidates will be published on Jan 13.
On Jan 17 and Jan 18, the candidates will file appeals against the decisions of the ROs rejected and accepted nomination papers, while the last date for deciding of appeals by the appellate tribunal is Jan 21. Last date for the withdrawal of candidature and publication of revised list of candidates is Jan 24, while Jan 25 is fixed for the allotment of election symbols to the candidates and publication of list contesting candidates.