Peshawar [Pakistan], February 5 (ANI): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stopped the returning officers designated for the second phase of local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from issuing public notices till further order.
The order was issued in the wake of the verdict of the Peshawar High Court, Abbottabad circuit bench the other day that directed the ECP to postpone the second phase of the local government elections slated for March 27 in view of the snowfall and cold weather in the hilly areas.
In view of the verdict of the PHC, you are requested not to issue public notices to this effect till further orders, said a circular issued to the returning officers and cited by The News International said.
An official of the ECP said no public notice was issued on Friday in wake of the PHC verdict. Public notices are supposed to be issued before the submission of the nomination papers by the respective candidate, The News International reported further.
On Friday, the Peshawar High Court suspended a notification issued by the ECP to hold the second phase of the local government polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 27, and directed the electoral watchdog to instead hold the polls after Ramazan (April) due to the rough weather forecast in various parts of the province next month.
The PHC's Abbottabad bench issued the directions while hearing a petition filed by a citizen who contended that various districts in the province would be shut by heavy snow in March, following which the voters would struggle to reach polling stations under severe cold and through snow-covered roads, Dawn reported.
The ECP had on January 20 announced the schedule and a code of conduct for the second phase of local government elections in 18 districts of the province. The first phase of elections was held in 17 districts on December 19. (ANI)