LAHORE - After being forwarded the rules for the local government elections in Punjab, the Election Commission of Pakistan has actively embarked on preparations for the conduct of polls in January next year.

According to sources, the election commission is expected to announce the elections schedule on Monday, December 9.  Sources said the Punjab government had also sent to the commission a list containing details of returning officers and district returning officers drawn from the executive and administrative staff. The commission would examine this list, finalise the names of ROs and DROs and later release a notification in this respect.

According to sources, delimitation of constituencies in four districts of Rahim Yar Khan, Kasur, Mianwali and Nankana Sahib is nearing completion. These districts will have eight municipal corporations.

According to salient features of the LG polls rules, the RO would propose polling stations in his constituency and the DRO would determine their final number from that list 15 days before the election and no polling station would be set up on any premises owned by any candidate. The election commission has been authorized to rescind and alter the election schedule at any time before the date of polls and issue a revised one.

A statement of the assets and liabilities of the candidate and that of his spouse and dependents as on the preceding thirtieth day of June shall be annexed with the nomination papers.

The RO has been made competent to reject the nomination papers on his own or acting on a complaint provided he is satisfied that the candidate does not qualify to contest the election or his proposer or seconder do not meet the required qualification.

In joint candidature rejection of one nomination papers would also reject the other. In case of rejection, the RO would record brief reason. District and Sessions Judge or the judicial authority as appointed by the EC would perform as appellate authority over the rejection or the acceptance of nomination.

Order of the Appellate forum would be final. A voter would be allowed to cast only on the production of ID card. A person would be provided ballot paper even someone else has already cast vote in his name but that ballots labelled ‘tendered ballot paper’ would be kept separate and counted as per the rules.

The RO would consolidate the result in the presence of the candidates and their agents on a day, time and place fixed by him and would be authorized to examine the rejected ballot papers and include any ballot paper in the count if in his discretion the same did not merit rejection.

On securing the equal number of votes by two candidates, decision would be made through drawing a lot. Independently elected candidates would be entitled to join any political within seven days of the election result.

The returned candidates would take oath before the judicial authority as nominated by the EC. The maximum election expenses by the joint candidates for the seat of Mayor/Deputy Mayor and Chairman/Vice Chairman of District Council has been fixed at Rs two lakh, that for Chairman/Vice Chairman Municipal Committee, Rs 50,000, Chairman/Vice Chairman Rs one lakh, Member UC and Wards of Municipal Committee Rs 30, 000 and member against Reserved Seat Rs 20,000.