ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken a significant step by issuing a directive on Tuesday, instructing the immediate freeze of all development funds associated with local government institutions until the results of the upcoming February 8 polls are officially announced.
In a notification that underlines the ECP’s commitment to ensuring honest, fair, and lawful elections, the commission expressed its responsibility to prevent any actions by local government bodies and cantonment boards that could potentially influence the outcome of the polls.
Emphasizing the need for a level playing field for all political parties and candidates, the ECP directed local government functionaries in the provinces, including cantonments, to continue their routine duties related to sanitation and cleanliness – essential aspects of local governance.
However, the commission imposed a freeze on the announcement or execution of any new development schemes, with exceptions for those approved prior to the announcement of the election schedule on December 15.
Moreover, the directive explicitly stated that local governments and cantonment boards are prohibited from issuing tenders for new schemes until the conclusion of the general elections, and this can only be done with prior approval from the electoral commission.
This comprehensive set of guidelines aims to ensure a fair, unbiased, and transparent electoral process by preventing any potential influence or favoritism through development projects during the election period.
By taking such measures, the ECP is actively working to uphold the integrity of the electoral process and maintain public confidence in the democratic system. These directives are crucial in fostering an environment where the electoral outcomes are determined solely by the will of the voters and not influenced by external factors or developmental initiatives during the election phase.