LG polls: ECP asks Punjab to amend law for using EVMs, I-voting


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalised arrangements for holding local government elections in Punjab.

A meeting chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja on Monday reviewed the issues and challenges pertaining to the local bodies elections in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The meeting was attended by ECP officials, representatives of the provincial government, and security agencies.

During the meeting, ECP officials confirmed that the schedule for the elections has been prepared. They said that the elections will be held in three phases, covering 36 districts and 3,668 union councils of Punjab.

They said that the first phase will cover 12 districts, the second phase will cover 11 districts, and the third phase will cover 13 districts.

They also requested the Interior Ministry to provide rules governing the expenditure limits for candidates participating in the elections. They said that the rules should be notified by July 12, as per the Local Government Act 2013.

They further said that the registration process of electoral groups regarding the local bodies elections in Punjab will be completed by July 17.

The ECP officials also said that the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the elections was not possible due to technical and legal issues. They urged the Punjab government to make amendments to the Local Government Act 2013 regarding the use of EVMs and I-voting (Internet-voting).

They said that the ECP was ready to conduct pilot projects on EVMs and I-voting in selected constituencies, but it needed legal cover from the provincial assembly.

The local government elections in Punjab are being held after a gap of six years. The last local government elections were held in 2015 under the supervision of the ECP.

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