Polling for the election of new mayor of the federal capital Islamabad began on Monday morning.
According to the details, the polling process that began at 9am will continue until 5pm without any break, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Three candidates including Pir Adil Shah (PML-N), Malik Sajid Mahmood (PTI) and Azhar Mahmood are in the run for the slot of the Islamabad Mayor. The other independent candidate, Azhar Mahmood is also in the run for the slot of the Islamabad mayor. In the 73-member Electoral College, the main opposition party PML-N enjoys a clear majority with 47 votes against the 25 votes of the PTI.
The seat of the mayor fell vacant after Sheikh Anser Aziz resigned from the post in October last, months after he was restored by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after being suspended over corruption allegations. In 2016, Sheikh Anser Aziz was elected the first mayor of Islamabad.
The ECP has already disqualified the deputy mayors from contesting the election.
Meanwhile, IHC also dismissed petitions filed by three deputy mayors, seeking to stop the election.
The deputy mayors were aspirants for the post but were barred from the election process under the local government law. IHC Justice Aamer Farooq rejected the petition, saying deputy mayors could not contest the election. However, they can cast vote, the judgment said.
Justice Farooq remarked that there were weaknesses in the local body system. How could the court rectify it. Most powerful people are living in the federal capital but the city is still ignored, he said.
The bench remarked that there should be a new model and separate assembly for Islamabad.