ISLAMABAD: The election for the seat of Islamabad’s mayor will be held on Dec 28.
The seat fell vacant when PML-N’s Sheikh Anser Aziz resigned in a surprising move on Oct 4 — days after sending a summary to the Ministry of Interior proposing to hand over the functions of four directorates under the Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to the federal government.
According to the schedule for by-polls announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the returning officer will issue a public notice inviting nominations on Dec 9 and the nomination papers will be received and scrutinised on Dec 11 and Dec 16, respectively.
Dec 17 has been set as the last date for filing appeals against acceptance or rejection of the nomination papers which are to be decided by the appellate authority by Dec 18.
Dec 21 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature and the final list of candidates with election symbols will be published the following day.
Polling will take place on Dec 28 and the results would be announced on Dec 29.
Nomination papers will be received and scrutinised on Dec 11, 16th
With a view to ensure that the polls are conducted fairly and in accordance with the law, the ECP has directed executive authorities not to use state resources to influence the elections in favour of a particular candidate or a political party.
“If any person in Government service misuses his official position in any manner in order to influence results of elections, he shall be proceeded against under Section 58 of the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015,” a brief code of conduct issued with the poll schedule reads.
It also makes it clear that any holder of public office, who is found to have violated any provision of election laws or the instructions issued by the commission, shall be proceeded against as mandated by the law.
The ECP has also issued a notification appointing Regional Election Commissioner Rawalpindi Nazar Abbas as the district returning officer (DRO) and District Election Commissioner Islamabad Naeem Ahmad as the returning officer (RO) for the polls.
Former mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz who was considered as a close aide to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif surprisingly resigned accusing the government of meddling in some important directorates of the MCI.
Mr Aziz, who also served as the CDA chairman with an additional charge during the tenure of the PML-N for at least one and half years in his resignation message posted on twitter said the way they had been pushed against the wall with all powers taken back by the federal government, MCI could no longer serve its dearest citizens.” Better to quit if can’t help my people.”
Mr Aziz, who is facing a NAB inquiry over corruption charges, said the MCI had funds but the finance department was not directed by the federal government to allow release of those funds.
“Still we did our best to keep things moving.” The resignation was written on MCI’s letterhead dated Oct 1.
The former mayor was twice removed from his post by the Local Government Commission (LGC) formed by the PTI government. However, he was restored by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020