ISLAMABAD: In line with its decision to complete local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by Jan 16, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Monday that in the first phase, 17 districts would go to the polls on Dec 19.
The ECP turned down a request by the KP government to defer elections for Tehsil bodies, deciding to hold the polls for Tehsil and city councils, as well as village and neighbourhood bodies, on the same day.
The districts where elections are to be held in the first phase are: Malakand, Bajaur, Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Banni, Tank, Haripur, Khyber, Mohmand, Charsadda, Hangu and Lakki Marwat.
According to the schedule announced by the ECP, the returning officers will issue notifications inviting nominations on Nov 1. The candidates will be able to file nomination papers from Nov 4 to 8.
A list of the nominated candidates will be published on Nov 9 and scrutiny will take place from Nov 10 to 12. Appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers will be filed from Nov 13 to 16.
Nov 19 has been set as the last date for decision on appeals and a revised list of candidates will be published the following day.
Nov 22 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature. Election symbols will be allotted the next day (Nov 23) and the final list of contesting candidates will be published the same day.
According to the schedule, consolidation of results is to be completed by Dec 24.
Code of conduct
The Election Commission has barred holders of public offices from visiting any constituency for the local government polls, from unveiling any development scheme and from canvassing votes for any candidate or political party.
According to the code of conduct outlined by the ECP, the decision applies, among others, to the president, the prime minister, the chief minister, the governor, as well as all federal and provincial ministers.
The commission said any government employee found to have misused his official position in any manner in order to influence results of the elections shall render himself liable to prosecution.
“Districts in respect of which election schedule of local government elections has been issued, no transfers/postings of government officers and officials, including autonomous bodies, shall be made without prior approval of the Commission till the publication of election results,” the code of conduct reads.
The code prohibited grant of leave, without the Election Commission’s approval and until the publication of results, to government employees in the districts where elections are being held. “In case leave has already been sanctioned, the officer will not relinquish his charge without approval of the Commission,” it adds.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021