ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday postponed the local government elections scheduled for December 31 in Islamabad.
The announcement came following a change in the union councils of the federal capital. The Commission announced the decision regarding local bodies’ elections and canceled the schedule.
A five-member bench of the Election Commission heard the case related to the local body elections in Islamabad on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Advocate General Jahangir Jadoon and former Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf represented the government, Babar Awan and Ali Nawaz Awan represented the PTI, while Mian Aslam appeared before the ECP on behalf of the JI.
During today’s hearing, federal government’s counsel Ashtar Ausaf, the former attorney general of Pakistan, informed the bench that the decision to increase the union councils was based on the increase in population.
When Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja asked whether the new census report had been published, he said, adding that the censure bureau had updated the government about it.
Mr. Ausaf said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also recognized the increase in population but authorized the top election body to take the final decision after hearing the government’s stance. He contended that the ECP could not deprive people of their basic rights.
PTI lawyer Babar Awan said the LG polls should be held as per the schedule as they had already been delayed twice. At which, the CEC remarked that the IHC had declared its decision null and void. He added that the high court had also issued directives for reviewing the numbers of the union councils.
Last week, the IHC nullified the ECP notice — which had made a government notification to increase the number of union councils in Islamabad void — and directed the poll body to listen to the government’s point of view before reaching any decision.