ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request of the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold local government (LG) elections in accordance with the new schedule, DawnNews reported.
The ECP's request for the extension in dates to hold LG polls was granted by an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
According to the new schedule okayed by the SC, local government elections in Punjab are to be held on Jan 30, on Dec 7 in Balochistan, on Jan 18 in Sindh; whereas polling in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the cantonment boards is to be held during the month of February.
During the hearing today, the chief justice said the court's duty was to work in accordance with the Constitution, adding that the governments were calling for an extension in the dates for polling.
Advocate General Sindh Khalid Javed told the bench that the ECP was experiencing grave difficulties and that was why an extension in the election date had been requested.
The election commission had decided to approach the Supreme Court again a day after the SC registrar rejected its application seeking postponement of local government elections in Punjab and Sindh.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the ECP to follow the schedules presented by the Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan provincial governments to hold local government polls.
A reply filed on behalf of the ECP had listed features like completion of delimitation process, necessary changes in laws and election rules, door-to-door verification by the ECP, preparation of fresh electoral rolls by Nadra and provinces, procurement of election materials by the commission and printing of ballot papers by the Printing Corporation of Pakistan and the Security Printing Corporation.
Furthermore, ECP was of the opinion that these measures would take at least four months to complete.