EC blamed for delay in LG polls

EC blamed for delay in LG polls
Mian Iftikhar Hussain

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said on Tuesday that the Awami National party-led coalition government was ready to hold local government elections, but the Election Commission’s inability to publish authenticated electoral rolls had been delaying the process.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province which says that it is ready for local government elections and has submitted its schedule to the Supreme Court,” the minister said while speaking to a group of journalists at Officers’ Mess here. “We have also passed an act for the purpose,” he maintained.Mr Hussain said that the delay in holding the LG elections had been caused by the commission’s inability to publish electoral rolls. “And unless that happens, elections cannot be held,” he said.

The minister said that it would have to be seen now that local bodies and general elections could be held at the same time, or which one should be held first and whether or not the prevailing situation permitted holding such elections. “We are ready for both the elections,” he maintained.He was particularly incensed at the judiciary’s reported remarks that the present governments had failed and that people needed to vote for spotless candidates in future.

“We have a lot of respect for the judiciary, but these kinds of remarks do not create a good impression. The judiciary does not have the mandate to make such remarks. Indulging in politics is not good for the future of judiciary.“The right to vote to elect candidates of their choosing belongs to the people. All institutions need to work within their own parameters,” Mr Hussain said.He claimed that based on performance the ANP had made remarkable achievements. “We challenge our opponents to match our record work in education, health, social welfare and other sectors.” He said that the passage of 18th amendment was a silent revolution which brought devolution of power to provinces.

The minister said that compared with 2009, the law and order situation in the province had vastly improved due to sacrifices of the people and steadfastness of the government. “Our homes are safe now,” he claimed.“We fought the scourge of terrorism for the sake of our country and its people,” he said and insisted: “People are obliged to vote for us.”

He hoped that people would not succumb to negative propaganda and fake ratings and vote for genuine political party. Mr Hussain said that he had made efforts not only to unite the journalist community, but also gave generous funding to help press clubs at district level. “I did not pick and choose,” he said.The minister said that the government had approved setting up of media colonies at district level by donating state land to provide residential facilities to media persons. – Dawn