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Pakistan apex court orders local polls by November.

Karachi: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday reprimanded the federal and provincial governments for not holding the local government elections and ordered them to hold local government elections until mid-November, this year.

The apex court also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to complete the delimitation of constituencies within five months of issuance of the court orders.

In a brief order the Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani said the holding of election of local government had been delayed for more than nine years, which is violative of the constitutional command.

The chief justice further ordered the federal and provincial governments, especially of Sindh province, to carry out appropriate amendments or legislation to empower the ECP to initiate and carry out the process of delimitation of the constituencies for the local government elections.

"This exercise should be completed within a period of five months from today," the apex court verdict reads.

The petition for holding the local government elections were filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement challenging the Sindh government amendments to the laws and carrying out delimitation of the electoral constituencies in the province as well as in Karachi.

The court comprising justice Khliji Arif and justice Azmat Saeed, beside the chief justice,referring the Article 218 (3) of the constitution observed that "the ECP had been mandated to organise and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the elections was conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against."

The apex court orders further said that since the delimitation of constituencies of the local government was the part of the process of organising and holding elections honestly, justly and fairly which is the Constitution mandate of the ECP, the power to carry out such delimitation should be vest with the ECP.

The court also ordered the ECP to take requisite measure to carry out the process of delimitation of constituencies for the local government expeditiously so as to complete the same with a period of 45 days of the enactment/amendments in laws in terms of the court order.

The ECP was also ordered to ensure that the announcement of elections schedule and the process of holding them was complete by or before November 15 this year.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 21, 2014
Words:401
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