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ECP issues schedule for KP LG polls phase two

IHC suspends ECP's decision to disqualify KP transport minister

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced conducting local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 31.

It issued the revised schedule of phase two of the polls in the province. According to ECP notification, the consolidation of results would be on April 4, on the completion of the polling process in all areas after five days of polling day.

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It added that the public notice inviting nomination papers would be issued on February 10 while the dates for the filing of nomination papers with the returning officers by the candidates would be from February 14 to February 18.

The publication of names of the nominated candidates will be on February 19 while the last date for the scrutiny of nomination papers by the returning officer will be from February 21 to 23. The last date for filing of appeals against the decisions of the returning officer rejecting or accepting the nomination papers will be between February 24 to 26. The last date for deciding on appeals by the Appellate Tribunal will be March 1 while the publication of the revised list of candidates will be March 2. The last date for withdrawal of candidature and publication of the revised list of candidates will be March 3 while the allotment of election symbols to contesting candidates and publication of the list of contesting candidates will be March 4.

Also, Supreme Court (SC) has suspended Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision on deferring the schedule of second phase of local bodies (LB) polls in KP. While issuing notice to the respondents, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till February 14. A two-member bench of SC comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Ayesha Malik took up for hearing appeal filed by the ECP against the PHC decision on deferring the second phase of LB polls in KP.

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Afnan Karim Kundi, counsel for ECP, argued that PHC Abbottabad Bench has deferred the schedule for second phase of LB polls in KP without hearing the ECP. The notice for February 1 hearing of the case was received in ECP on February 2. PHC had deferred the schedule of second phase of LB polls before the notice was received by ECP. The high court postponed the LB polls in 18 districts while the plea was made for deferring the LB polls in five districts. The counsel for the petitioner took the plea that the elections cannot be held on March 27 due to the weather situation. Justice Ayesha Malik asked how the high court gave a decision this way, saying it should have heard the stance of ECP before giving a decision.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday suspended the decision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for disqualifying Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transport Minister Shah Muhammad Khan. Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition filed by Shah Muhammad challenging the ECP’s decision against him.

The petitioner’s lawyer submitted that just one day before the local body elections on December 19, 2021, the opponent candidate Maoor Khan Wazir snatched the polling equipment from the staff, and later he himself filed a false complaint to the ECP against his client. The lawyer said the ECP had announced its judgment on the basis of police investigation which could not be accepted as evidence against his client. After listening to arguments from the lawyer, the court suspended the decision of ECP and sought comments from the respondents till February 11. It may be mentioned here that the ECP had disqualified Shah Muhammad and Mamoon ur Rashid on February 1.



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