LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) may seek opinion of three provinces to conduct local body elections in phases to overcome difficulties it may face in holding them in one go due to shortage of time.
Official sources said yesterday that holding local body elections on a non-party basis in Punjab might particularly be difficult for the ECP because of the mammoth work required for the purpose.
Local body elections under the Local Government Ordinance 2001 were held in phases in 2001 and 2004.
Sources said following this practice could ease burden on the ECP, but that could be possible only after an agreement by provinces.
They said the biggest problem for holding elections on the non-party basis in Punjab would be the printing of different ballot papers for every union council or ward. Allotting election symbol to each and every candidate would again be a difficult option.
There are thousands of union councils, 160 municipal committees having at least 22 wards, 10 municipal corporations and one metropolitan corporation having 250 union councils.
And for holding elections to them, the ECP would have to print millions of ballot papers with different symbols for the non-party candidates.
Sources said it would have to be seen whether the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (PSPC) could print such a large number of ballot papers in such a short period of time.
The ECP could not have the ballot papers printed from the private market and the only legal option was to have them prepared by the PSPC.
Sources said that as far as Punjab was concerned it had made all arrangements for the elections. It had enacted a new local government law, almost completed the delimitations and prepared the election rules. And the remaining rules were being made.
They said the province was also ready for providing operational assistance to the ECP like providing it with staff, vehicles or making security arrangements.