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IHC directs ECP to hold Islamabad LG polls tomorrow

The Islamabad High Court on Friday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local government elections in the capital city on December 31 (tomorrow) and nullified its notification on the postponement of the polls.

The verdict was pronounced by IHC Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, who was hearing identical petitions filed by the PTI and the Jamaat-i-Islami against the ECP’s decision — announced earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the ECP had postponed the polls “for the time being” at the last minute, frustrating thousands of contestants and their supporters.

“Keeping in view the legal provisions and the judgement of the Honourable High Court, Islamabad dated Dec 23, 2022, regarding the subject matter. Local Government Elections in ICT scheduled to be held on Dec 31, 2022, is hereby postponed for the time being,” the short order by the ECP had said.

Subsequently, JI and PTI had approached the IHC against the decision.

In a short order issued after hearing the petitions today, the court set aside ECP’s order.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan is directed to hold the local government elections in the Islamabad Capital Territory as per the schedule already announced i.e. on 31.12.2022,” it said.

The court also ordered directed the federal government to provide complete assistance to the electoral body for conducting the local bodies’ elections as mandated by the Constitution.

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