ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has begun its preparations for the holding of local government elections. The commission on Wednesday issued a notification pertaining to the formation of a special wing in relation to local bodies’ polls that are to be held in the four provinces. A spokesman for the ECP said the special wing includes four Grade 17 officers and has sections relating to local bodies’ elections to be held in the Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The mandate of the ECP’s special wing is to establish and maintain contact with the provincial administrations.
The establishment of the commission’s special wing came days after the Supreme Court recently ordered the four provincial governments and the Islamabad administration to complete legal formalities, including delimitation of constituencies, by August 15 to enable the ECP to hold local government elections preferably on September 15.
The court had moreover directed that local bodies’ elections also be held in all cantonment boards, and preferably on the same day.
Although it appears that the provincial administrations are finally inching towards the holding of local government elections, the fate of the local bodies’ system continues to hang in the balance as provincial governments have so far failed to make effective legislation and give the people a better replacement for the one introduced by the Musharraf regime and address their problems at the grassroots level.