Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

KP to hold local government elections in three phases

KP to hold local government elections in three phases

The minister informed that the KP government would discuss the matter with the Election Commission of Pakistan on 14th October

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister’s special assistant on information Kamran Khan Bangash said that the local government (LG) elections would be held in three phases in the province.

Addressing a news conference, Bangash said village and neighborhood council elections will be held in November or December in 16 or 17 districts. Bangash added that elections will be held in the second phase in the hilly areas when the snowfall ends in May next year. He informed that it will be followed by party-based tehsil chairman elections in July or August.

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The minister informed that the KP government would discuss the matter with the Election Commission of Pakistan on 14th October. The provincial government has allocated Rs1 billion for conducting local government elections.

In February, this year, the Election Commission of Pakistan had proposed to hold the local body polls in three phases across the country due to the fact that the exercise was four times bigger than the general election. The total number of constituencies for the National and Provincial Assemblies is 849 while the number of constituencies for local body elections in Punjab alone is 25,000.  However, the provinces had urged the ECP to delay those polls on the pretext of making necessary changes to the local government law.

The local government elections have been delayed by almost two year however, the KP governments said that it was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministers said that the protection of human life should be considered while deciding on local body elections, pointing out those large gatherings during election campaigns could spread of the pandemic. Besides this the official said that some administrative issues were needed to be resolved before announcing an election schedule for the tribal areas after the merger of tribal districts with the province.

However, the opposition has accused the government of escape from the LG polls because of its flawed policies.

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