Local govt elections in capital to be held on Dec 31.

ISLAMABAD -- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has changed the date of polling for the local government (LG) elections in the capital from Dec 24 to Dec 31.

ECP officials Dawn spoke to said the decision was taken on the request of the Christian community, as Dec 24 was clashing with Christmas. They said Christians were the main minority living in Islamabad and they had large vote banks. Besides, a large number of Christians also contest the local government elections.

Therefore, the ECP official said the commission decided to provide the Christian community a fair chance of not only participating in the election process but their leaders could also easily carry out their campaigning.

'Election Commission of Pakistan is pleased to revise the already notified poll day for the conduct of Local Government in Islamabad Capital Territory and fix 31st December, 2022 (Saturday) as poll day,' read a notification issued by the ECP on Friday.

Date revised on the request of Christian community

It is relevant to note here that elections in the capital city were long overdue. The polls should have been held within four months after expiry of the previous local government's tenure, but the government failed to hold the polls.

Last time, elections were held in 50 union councils (UCs) in 2015 and this time, the government had increased the number of UCs from 50 to 101. In the upcoming elections, over 984,000 voters of Islamabad could cast their votes to elect their local representatives for the next five years.

The said elections would be held on the basis of the Local Government Act 2015 similar to the previous polls. Members of the previous Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), on many occasions, criticised the Act, stating that it had many unclear things, however, both the main parties, which remained or are in power at the centre - PTI and PML-N - could not make any changes to the Act. Resultantly, the ECP is going to hold elections...

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