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ECP raises objections over ‘flaws’ in Punjab local bodies law

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that under existing local government law, the local bodies elections could not be conducted in Punjab, ARY News reported on Friday.

The Punjab Local Government Act 2019 was passed by the provincial legislature in May this year.

According to sources, the ECP in its objections said that several clauses of the new local councils law of Punjab were in contravention to the Representation of People’s Act 2017, highlighting the need to re-tune the provincial law in accordance with the election act.

“There are ambiguities about delimitation of constituencies, voters lists and the election procedure in the provincial law,” sources said.

The Punjab Local Government Act was also silent about the procedure for conduct of the election, sources further said.

The local councils’ act demands separate voters’ lists for Muslim and non-Muslim voters, while the election act of Pakistan urges single list for all voters.

The provincial local bodies law doesn’t declare the Neighborhood Council or Punchayat a local council entity but a separate act has been passed for it, the election commission said.

According to the sources, the ECP said that only elections of those entities could be conducted, which are described in Punjab local councils’ law.

The election commission has advised the government to add the Neighborhood Council into the municipal law.

The ECP after a thorough review of the local bodies law will provide its recommendations to Punjab government, sources added.

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