The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday refused to authorise overseas Pakistanis to vote in the local government elections in the absence of legislation at the provincial level.
According to the ECP, none of the provinces had extended the facility of voting in LG polls to Pakistanis living abroad.
An ECP official said they could not authorise overseas Pakistanis to vote without appropriate legislation at the provincial level. He added that overseas Pakistanis were playing a major role in the construction and development of Pakistan, adding that in the past five years, they had sent $55 billion to the country as foreign exchange.
He was of the view that Pakistanis living abroad should be included in the country’s electoral process.
An inter-provincial meeting was informed last week that holding of local government elections was not possible this year because provinces had not done the basic work to conduct the exercise.
It transpired during the meeting, presided over by Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, that provinces were yet to have complete delimitation, which would have to be carried out afresh on the basis of new census blocks.
ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan told reporters that all provinces had assured the meeting of sending a requisition to the commission for holding LG elections in the first week of December after completing prerequisites for the polls in November.
“And after receiving requisitions, the ECP requires one month to carry out multiple tasks before announcing the election schedule,” he said.