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Local Govt Polls Not Possible Under Election Act, ECP Tells Court

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Lahore

The Election Commission of Pakistan has told the Lahore High Court that local government polls were not possible under the Election Act 2017.

According to a report in Dawn, the Lahore High Court, while hearing a petition, was informed by the ECP that the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 (PLGA-2019) and the Election Act 2017 contradicted each other and the former was even self-contradictory in nature.

The ECP counsel informed the court that there were contradictions in the process of election and delimitations in the acts.

The petitioners include a former mayor and deputy mayors of Lahore, and the son of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, Ahmad Iqbal, a former Narowal district former chairman.

Meanwhile, Punjab Advocate General Ahmad Jamal Sukhera represented the provincial government in the case and raised questions about the competency of the petitions.

The bench presiding over the hearing has called provincial secretaries for law and local government to make an appearance before it. It also ordered the petitioners’ representatives to submit their rejoinders.

The petitioners had argued that the PLGA-2019 had been passed without due deliberation and no debate was held in the assembly regarding it. They further stated that following the promulgation of the new law, the previous local government institutions were abolished before the expiry of their five-year constitutional term.

The petitioners further contended that the dissolution of the local government system had removed 60,000 elected representatives across the province.

The petitioners demanded that the court should make a declaration under which the officials elected in 2013 would have the right to complete their constitutional term.

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