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‘Anathema to democracy’: President returns bill proposing increase in UCs of Islamabad

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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Alif Alvi on Sunday returned the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2022, that proposed an increase in the number of union councils (UCs) in the federal capital unsigned as it was an “anathema to democracy”.

The president has returned the bill in terms of clause (1) (b) of Article 75 of the Constitution with the observation that it would “further delay the local government elections”.

The president also said that it was also stated that local government elections were delayed in Islamabad due to “malafide actions” of the federal government.

The president noted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced the local elections for July 31 of last year after completing the delimitation of 50 UCs. He noted that the polling day had to be delayed as the federal government increased the number of UCs from 50 to 101.

Dr Alvi noted that once the demarcation was done and ECP had announced polls for December 31 the current bill changed the number of UCs to 125 which led to another postponement. He also noted that the mode of elections of the mayor and deputy mayor was also changed via the bill after the announcement of the election schedule.

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