ISLAMABAD: Local body elections in the capital have been postponed, with the Islamabad High Court ordering the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday to complete a new delimitation of constituencies and issue a new schedule within 65 days. At the request of the PML-N, PPP, and PTI, a hearing on petitions connected to local body elections was convened today in Islamabad. The parties had requested a postponement of the elections, arguing for updated delimitation after the government increased the number of union councils from 50 to 101. The ECP had called votes in the capital’s 50 union councils on July 31. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over the proceedings. The chief justice began by asking the ECP about their verdict on the local government elections in Islamabad. “Under the government announcement, the ECP has provided a clear position on local body elections,” the officials informed the court. “How many days will the election be held?” queried the chief justice. Elections can be placed in 60 to 65 days, according to Election Commission officials. Justice Minallah then went over some of the objections made about the elections. He instructed the Election Commission not to shift votes from one ward to the next. According to ECP officials, a new delimitation process would take place over 60 days then a schedule for local body elections will be announced. They asked the court to require the federal government to participate in local government elections. They complained that “governments impede local elections.” “The court should require the federal government to fulfill its constitutional commitments regarding local body elections,” they argued. Justice Minallah stated that the parties’ pleas to postpone elections had been “found ineffectual.” The Election Commission must declare the election calendar within 65 days of a new delimitation, the court ordered.