ECP rejects Chohan’s allegations of ‘unilateral increase’ in Punjab UCs
ISLAMABAD:The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday rejected the allegations of Punjab Government’s Spokesman Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan that the Commission had issued a unilateral notification of new delimitation of union councils in the province without taking the local administrations on board.
An ECP spokesman, in a news statement, said the persons having objections over delimitations “can file their pleas to the delimitation authorities from January 9 to Jan 23, 2023”.
Urging to avoid irresponsible statements, he categorically said the ECP would continue working in accordance with the Constitution.
He said sections 221 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; 222 of the Punjab Local Government Election Act 2022 empowered the Commission to conduct delimitation of local government constituencies and notify delimitation committees. The revenue officers of the province were bound to provide necessary assistance to those committees and authorities.
He clarified that tough the local people were not included in the delimitation process, they had the right to file objections on preliminary delimitations of constituencies.
The spokesman said Chohan had tried not only to mislead the people of Punjab but also levelled baseless and false allegations against the Commission. “According to section 10 of Punjab Local Government Act 2022, delimitation is the sole responsibility of the ECP,” he added.
He said the provincial government had fixed 25,000 as the threshold for the average population of one union council under section 10 of the Punjab Local Government Act 2022.
“The ECP has no powers to increase or decrease the number of union councils. ECP has conducted delimitation in accordance with an average population of 25,000 each.
“The total population of Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation is 1,958,374 and the ECP has constituted 78 union councils. The urban population of the District Council Rawalpindi is 296,776 which constitutes 12 union councils, while that of the rural area is 1,407,157 which constitutes 58 union councils. Similarly, the population of Tehsil Rawalpindi City is 15,208 and that of Tehsil Cantt is 9,964, thus the number of union councils will be one each,” the spokesman added.
Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, in his statement, had threatened of taking legal action against the Commission, which, he alleged, had unilaterally increased the number of union councils of Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi from 46 to 78 on its own, and also enhanced the number of UCs of district councils from 34 to 70 (each).