PESHAWAR, June 30: The ruling Awami National Party on Saturday said local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could be delayed due to the Election Commission’s failure to prepare new voter lists.

Addressing a meeting of the ANP, Peshawar, general council here, the ruling party’s provincial chief, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, said it was the responsibility of the election commission to prepare voters lists until May 30.

“As electoral rolls haven’t been prepared until now, there can be a delay in the holding of local body elections,” he said.

He said ANP would actively participate in local body and general elections. Provincial general secretary of ANP Arbab Tahir later told Dawn that local body elections couldn’t be held until the Election Commission printed new voter lists.

He said the provincial government had announced to hold local body elections in October or November but if electoral rolls were not printed immediately, then it was not possible for the government to do so.

Mr Tahir said ANP would form district level election commission of its party to oversee election affairs. He said the leadership would field candidates in the elections in consultation of ward and union council level party workers.

In May this year, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local government minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour had said local body polls in the province might be held in October or early November.

The provincial assembly has already enacted the Local Government Act, 2012, replacing the Local Government Ordinance of the General Musharraf era.

On February 20, 2010, the provincial government dissolved elected local councils and replaced elected nazims with administrators. Prior to this, the provincial assembly amended the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Ordinance, 2001 and incorporated Section 179-B in the ordinance, letting the government dissolve the councils and appoint administrators.

Also in the meeting, Mr Afrasiab said on one hand, militancy and energy crisis had made the life of commoners miserable and on the other, certain elements were busy conspiring against democracy.

He said under the current circumstances, the country couldn’t afford political confrontation.

The ANP leader said there should be no repeat of the post-Russian withdrawal experience after Nato forces left Afghanistan as it would be harmful to both Pakistan and Iran.

“Let Afghan people resolve their problems themselves. They are politically awake and could well decide about their future,” he said.

ANP Peshawar district president Arbab Najeebullah chaired the meeting, where the party’s provincial general secretary, Arbab Mohammad Tahir Khan Khalil, information secretary Malik Ghulam Mustafa, vice president Mushtaq Khan, central additional secretary general Tajuddin Khan, ministers Arbab Ayub Jan, Aqil Shah, and senior leaders were in attendance.

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