ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday notified the schedule and timeline for delimitation of local government (LG) constituencies in Islamabad.

The local government in the capital completed its five-year term in February this year. Before holding the next elections, the ECP is supposed to carry out a delimitation of the constituencies.

According to a notification issued by the ECP, a preliminary list of constituencies/wards will be published on August 11. After completing the other steps, a final list will be published on September 20.

Preliminary list of wards to be published on Aug 11, says official

The ECP has already constituted a committee headed by District Election Commissioner Naeem Ahmed for carrying out the delimitation.

When contacted, Mr Ahmed told Dawn that arrangements were being finalised for starting the delimitation process and the entire exercise would be completed within the deadline in accordance with rules and regulations.

He said there will be 50 union councils and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) as per the previous practice.

Another official of the ECP said the last local government elections in Islamabad were held in 2015 based on the census of 1998. However, after the 2017 census, a new delimitation was the legal requirement before holding the new elections.

He said after delimitation the ECP will be ready to conduct the local government elections any time.

The first ever local government elections in Islamabad were held in November 2015 during the tenure of the PML-N government. The then ruling party won majority of the seats that led to the victory of Sheikh Anser Aziz as the mayor and three other PML-N leaders as deputy mayors.

However, due to lack of patronage by the PML-N and then by the PTI government the MCI completed its five-year term as a failed organisation.

The federal government neither provided any financial package to the MCI nor approved its rules and regulations. Even the MCI representatives completed their term without getting their due honorarium.

However, a source in the federal government said before the new elections the government will amend the Local Government Act 2015 to make the MCI a vibrant body.

He said several meetings had been held on the issue.

He said there were loopholes in the existing Act due to which the MCI failed to deliver.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2021

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