ECP orders reelection at 250 LG polling stations in KP


Commission says it received irrefutable evidence of irregularities from scores of polling stations in PTI governed province

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to hold fresh elections at hundreds of polling stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where local government polls held on May 30, were marred by large scale irregularities and allegations of massive rigging by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The ECP on Thursday notified more than 250 polling stations across KP where fresh polling will be held on July 5.

An official of the ECP said that the Commission had ordered re-election since it had received irrefutable evidence of irregularities from scores of polling stations, i.e. snatching of ballot boxes and ballot papers, and use of force to influence the election process on polling day.

The order will impact seats contested for village council, neighbourhood council, tehsil/town council and district councils in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad and Mansehra.

Other than polling stations and constituencies where re-polling has been ordered, the ECP has asked complainants of other areas to approach post-election tribunals for resolution of their grievances. So far, the ECP has set up a total of 92 tribunals in the province for to resolve election-related complaints.

Meanwhile, those elected as independents in May 30 polls have been given an opportunity to join a political party of their choice.

The electoral authority has asked independents to provide a letter of acceptance from the leader of party they have joined or they wish to join to the district returning officer. Under the law, those who are elected as independents to a legislature can join a party within three days of notification of wining an election.

The ECP on June 23 had officially notified the winners of May 30 elections.

According to rule 74 (7) of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Local Government  Act 2013, the total number of seats by a political party would include independent returned candidates who may join the party within three days of the publication in the official gazette of the names of returned candidates.

The completion of this process will show the total of a party on general seats, upon which the reserved seats will be allocated to a party in LG legislatures, i.e. tehsil and district councils to be set up in the province under the new local bodies system.