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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday published the list of seven cantonment boards (CBs) where delimitation of wards for local government polls was done afresh following the reclassification of these CBs by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

These seven CBs are: Malir, Korangi Creek, Abbottabad, Kamra, Taxila, Shorkot and Bahawalpur, according to ECP.

The CB Malir and Abbottabad have 10 wards each, Korangi Creek, Kamra, Taxila and Bahawalpur have five wards each, and Shorkot has two wards.

Section 11 (1) of Cantonments (Amendment) Ordinance 2002 reads, “The Election Commission shall delimit a cantonment into wards in such a way that the number of wards is equal to the number of members to be elected of general seats of a Cantonment Board.”

Rule 7 of Cantonments Local Government (Election) Rules, 2015 reads, “Final list of wards -(1) The delimitation authority may hold inquiry; summon witnesses and record evidence as it may deem necessary and shall dispose of the matter within fifteen days. (2) The delimitation authority as early as possible, but not later than seven days, shall communicate his decisions to the delimitation officer. (3) The delimitation officer shall incorporate the decisions of the delimitation authority received by him under sub-rule (2) in the preliminary list of the wards and publish final list of wards and send the same to the Commission for publication in the official Gazette.”

In December last year, Military Lands and Cantonments (ML&C) informed the ECP that that MoD carried out reclassification in seven CBs that caused changes in number of seats in these CBs where the delimitation of constituencies had to be done afresh.

The ML&C officials assured the ECP to provide the exact number seats in the reclassified CBs.

The ECP directed MoD to write a letter to federal government for holding LG polls in CBs and send a copy of the said letter to the ECP.

ECP officials told Business Recorder that required data regarding reclassified CBs was provided by MoD and ML&C following which delimitation was done afresh in these CBs by the ECP.

Also in December last year, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja warned that the conduct of general elections scheduled in 2023, and that of LGs and CBs scheduled this year, could also face inordinate delay if the results of population census 2017 were not officially notified in time.

On Monday, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) finally approved by majority vote the results of population census 2017 and decided to hold fresh population census this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021