All set for LG polls in Islamabad on Dec 31

Mumtaz Alvi
Sunday, Nov 13, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital took a significant step towards the local government election as the process of filing nomination papers was completed Saturday with 4,403 candidates fielding themselves for the electoral bout, scheduled for Dec 31.

The statistics shared by the Election Commission of Pakistan said 1,074 individuals as joint candidates filed nomination papers for chairman and vice-chairman for a total of 101 union councils, while 1,945 submitted nominations for 606 general seats, six each for every union council. Furthermore, 546 candidates are running for 202 reserved seats for women, 344 for 101 reserved seats for youth, 348 and 146 for 101 reserved seats for labourers and peasants, and 146 for 101 reserved seats for non-Muslims. As per the ECP schedule, a preliminary list of candidates will be displayed on Nov 14, whereas scrutiny of nomination papers will be carried out from Nov 15-18, and appeals against acceptance or rejection of papers can be filed from Nov 21-23. These appeals will be decided by Nov 30. The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers has been fixed at Nov 30, whereas election symbols will be allotted to contesting candidates on Dec 1, and this will be followed by polling on Dec 31.

A total of 984,877 persons will exercise their right to vote for the election of chairman, vice-chairman, councillors and lady councillors in 101 union councils in the federal capital. They include 518,193 male and 466,284 female voters.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have started respective poll campaigns across the federal capital.

It may be recalled that the local governments in Islamabad completed their five-year terms in February 2021. Under the law, the elections were supposed to be held within four months after the expiration of their time. However, this legal requirement could not be met for diverse reasons.

The polls were previously slated for Dec 24 but were rescheduled at the request of the Christian community, and this was the third time the poll schedule was reviewed.

The ECP had earlier set July 17 as the date for LG polls in Islamabad but withdrew it, citing technical deficiencies as the significant reason.

Afterward, the ECP fixed July 31 as the election date, but the poll process could not be pushed through after the electoral body agreed to carry out the delimitation of constituencies anew for an increased number of union councils—from 50 to 101.

This decision was taken after the PMLN and PPP approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC), pleading for an extension of the date for the local bodies polls.