ECP to decide on poll schedule Tuesday

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS

Islamabad : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has postponed till Tuesday its decision on whether to hold the Jan 8 polls as scheduled.

Support TwoCircles

The poll panel has asked its provincial and district officials for reports on the law and order situation in their areas and the damage to “election offices” in the aftermath of the violence that followed the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto Dec 27.

“We have asked our offices in provinces and districts specially in Sindh to send us reports on the situation, particularly the damage caused to election offices,” ECP spokesperson told journalists after an emergency meeting Monday at its headquarters here.

Although he said they would be in a position to take a call on the elections after an assessment from the field offices, the spokesperson indicated that the poll process might be postponed in view of the situation in the country.

“We’ll meet again Tuesday to take the final decision,” the spokesperson said.

During the widespread violence in the country following Bhutto’s killing, 40 election offices were completely gutted as well as election material and voter records destroyed.

“It is likely that the elections will be delayed for a few weeks,” another ECP official told IANS.

The ECP had said in a statement that preparations for the Jan 8 vote had been “adversely affected” by the unrest.