Pakistan’s top electoral body has filed an intra-court appeal against the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to conduct the Local bodies elections in the federal capital on December 31 (today).
According to media reports, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has made Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Jamat-e-Islami and leaders respondents in the case.
The development comes as Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered ECP to conduct local bodies elections in the country’s federal capital today.
Lately, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said they respected IHC’s ruling, but the elections would not be possible before four months.
The Islamabad High Court will take up the electoral body's plea for a hearing shortly.
On Friday, the IHC, while accepting the petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) for nullification of ECP’s decision of LG polls' deferral, directed the electoral body to hold the elections as per the schedule.
On December 27, the ECP had cancelled the December 31 schedule to hold the local government elections in the federal capital after a change in the union councils of the capital territory.
However, the high court in its one-page short order, asked the federal government to ensure that “it assists the election commission in holding the local government polls”.
“The Ministry of Interior’s December 19 notification has been declared null and void and so is the December 27 notification of the election commission,” the order added.
The election commission had deferred the polls after the federal government increased the number of union councils (UCs) in the capital without taking the former into confidence. Before reserving the verdict, the court had expressed displeasure over the federal government’s attitude.
The ECP held an emergency meeting after the IHC on Friday directed the ECP to hold local government elections in the capital city on December 31 (today) and set aside the ECP’s order dated Dec 27 on the postponement of the polls.
During the meeting of ECP, it was decided to file an intra-court appeal against the court’s verdict. The election commission will seek at least a week to conduct the polls stating it requires time for the printing and delivery of ballot papers, reports said.
ECP officials also held a meeting with Duggal over the inability to conduct the polls. Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Raja also reached Islamabad and held a meeting on the situation.
The election commission has expressed its inability in the meeting to conduct the local government elections within a day. The deployment of polling and security personnel would become a major challenge for the election commission, it adds.