RAWALPINDI: The Military Lands and Cantonments Department has sought guidance from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) whether elected members of the cantonment boards would continue working till the next election or not.

The tenure of the elected boards expired on Dec 10 and new election will be held after delimitation of wards in the cantonments. The Military Lands and Cantonments will dissolve the elected boards and give extension to the existing members after the ECP’s announcement about the new election.

A senior official of the military lands told Dawn that the cantonment boards had raised a point that if the elected members were allowed to continue their work, they may influence the next election.

He said a letter in this regard had been sent to Military Lands and Cantonments Department by the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) which forwarded it to the ECP for guidance.

He said under section 88 of Cantonment (amendment) Ordinance 2015, the tenure of the elected members of the cantonment boards will be extended till the arrival of the next elected body.

However, he said, the ECP was of the view that a policy statement would be issued after formation of the election commission in coming days.

He said the elected members held board meetings last week and gave approval to projects including building plans fearing that the board may not meet again till the formal clearance of the ECP.When contacted, Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) Vice President Raja Irfan Imtiaz said confusion still persists in the cantonment and it would be solved after directions from the ECP.

He said many elected members would also take part in the election. He said in the last election, the PML-N had won 19 out of the 20 seats in the cantonment areas.

The elected members are waiting for the announcement of election in 2020 to start their election campaign, he added.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2019