Civil society groups reject suspension of local bodies

PESHAWAR: The Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED), an umbrella organisation of civil society groups,on Monday voiced concern over the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to suspend local bodies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa even before the announcement of the schedule of the provincial assembly elections.

“We believe that the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan is not in the best interests of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and we call for its immediate reversal,” said CED national coordinator and Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives executive director Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, according to a statement.

He said the ECP should hold free and fair elections without undermining the rights of the people to representation at local levels.

“The suspension of local governments at this time of the year when the budget is prepared and annual planning for the next year taking place is hugely disruptive, and will affect the functioning of local governments not only during the current and next financial years,” he said.