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ISLAMABAD: The deadline to wind up respective electoral campaigns for the candidates contesting local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ended Tuesday midnight as LG polls in the remaining 18 out of 35 districts of the province under second phase are scheduled tomorrow (Thursday).

In this context, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asked the contesting candidates to wind up their respective campaigns by Monday midnight in accordance with Section 182 of Elections Act 2017.

“Prohibition of public meetings during certain period —No person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting, or promote or join in any procession, within the area of a constituency or, in the case of the Senate election, a province, during a period of forty-eight hours ending at midnight following the conclusion of the poll for any election in that constituency or province,” this section reads.

The 18 districts where LG elections are scheduled on March 31 are: Swat, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Upper Chitral, Lower Chitral, Shangla, Malakand, Kurram, Orakzai, Abbottabad, Battagram, Kolai Pallas, Mansehra, Torghar, Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

On December 19 last year, the LG elections for village/neighbourhood and tehsil/city councils were held under first phase in 17 districts: Peshawar, Buner, Bajaur, Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Tank, Haripur, Khyber, Mohmand, Charsadda, Hangu and Lakki Marwat.

In a related development, the electoral body, Tuesday, decided to hold LG elections in 33 of the total 35 districts of Balochistan on May 29 – except Quetta and Lasbela.

Balochistan government has increased the number of constituencies in these two districts following which the commission has launched afresh the constituencies’ delimitation drive in the province, the electoral body said in a statement.

The LG poll’s schedule for Quetta and Lasbela would be issued after the completion of delimitation drive, the ECP added.

Awaran, Barkhan, Kachhi, Chagai, Chaman, Dera Bugti, Duki, Gwadar, Harnai, Hub, Jafarabad, Jhal Magsi, Kalat, Kech, Kharan, Kohlu, Khuzdar, Loralai, Mastung, Musakhel, Nasirabad, Nushki, Qilla Abdullah, Qilla Saifullah, Panjgur, Pishin, Sherani, Sibi, Sohbatpur, Sohrab, Washuk, Zhob and Ziarat are 33 districts of Balochistan where LG polls are scheduled.

Last month, the electoral body announced to hold LG polls in 17 out of 36 districts of Punjab in the first phase on May 29 and decided that the schedule in the remaining 19 districts would be issued later.

Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Khanewal, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Toba Tek Singh, Khushab, Sialkot, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhelum and Attock are the districts where LG polls would be held on May 29.

Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Chiniot, Jhang, Narowal, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Lodhran, Multan, Chakwal, Okara, Bhakkar, Mianwali and Sargodha are the districts where LG elections would be held later— in the second phase.

LG elections’ schedules are yet to be announced for Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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