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CEC ECP unsatisfied over Punjab LB polls preparations ahead of due date

LAHORE: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday expressed resentment on the unsatisfactory response of the Punjab authorities over holding the local bodies (LB) polls in the province after it emerged that it should be held before 03 February 2021, ARY NEWS reported.    

During a meeting headed by CEC ECP Sikandar Sultan Raja to review preparations for LB polls in Punjab province, the secretary ECP briefed that the local government act was enacted in the province on 04 May 2019.

“The government was bound to establish a local bodies system within 21 months of its ratification,” he said adding that it was compulsory to hold the LB polls in the province ahead of February 03, 2021.

During the meeting, the secretary local government was unable to give a date on behalf of the province for local bodies’ polls. To this, the CEC ECP expressed his resentment on the matter.

The ECP directed the provincial authorities to notify the names of village and panchayat councils by 10 January 2021 and warned that in case of a failure, the election commission would advertise delimitations on previous names.

The ECP decided to hold a consultative meeting to review preparation for local bodies polls in Punjab on January 06, besides also agreeing to send an ECP representative to the Punjab government for legal consultation over the matter.

Read More: Seven-member committee formed to finalise schedule of Punjab LG polls

It is pertinent to mention here that on November 27, Punjab government decided to revisit its decision regarding holding local bodies (LB) polls in the province, owing to rising COVID-19 cases in the province.

The meeting had an in-depth discussion on the COVID-19 situation in the province after which it became likely that the local bodies polls in the province may be deferred owing to rising cases of the virus.

The meeting decided to convey the matter to the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on COVID-19 before finalizing dates for the local bodies polls.

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