Local Government elections have become the talk of the town as no province has yet given a positive response to the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard. Sindh government again shared its inability to hold the local government election in the province.
The ECP meeting was held on Monday with CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja in which it was revealed that a case on the 2017 census results was still pending in the court therefore it was not possible to carry out LG polls. Representatives of the Sindh government including Murtaza Wahab, Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah and the Sindh Local Government Secretary were also present in the meeting.
Sindh Government wants to make amendments in LG Act which may take six months, Chief Secretary Sindh revealed
Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah told that the Sindh government wanted to make amendments in Sindh Local Government Act which might complete in six months. ECP Secretary replied that the term of local governments in Sindh had already expired on August 30, 2020 and the Constitution required the ECP to conduct LG election within 4 months after the term expired.
He added that the ECP had formalized all the necessary steps in this regard and the notification was issued on June 1 this year accordingly. He further said that things were incomplete on Sindh government’s end as it had not provided details of the number of union councils, maps and other data yet.
Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab briefed that the provincial government had concerns over the final census results published on May 6 and an appeal under Article 154(7) of the Constitution had been filed with the federal government in this regard. He added that things could not proceed until the appeal was decided.
He further said that nature of local governments and their numbers could not be ascertained in the current circumstances.
He also mentioned the judgment by the Sindh High Court (SHC) which stated that the process for amending the local government law should be completed one and half year while the delimitation process be started 12 months prior to the election schedule.
It seems as if Sindh government is not serious in conducting LG polls, Chief Election Commissioner observed
Addressing the meeting the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said that the Sindh government had earlier requested to wait for the census results and now that the results were published; it raised reservations over their credibility. It seemed as if the provincial government was not interested in conducting LG Polls, he observed.
He added that the representatives of the Sindh government were not able to present a solid timeframe for the conductance of LG polls which was quite regrettable. The chairman after hearing the arguments from the Sindh government concluded the meeting with the decision of organizing a separate session in the current week so as to think over the said issue and formulate an effective strategy in this connection.
This is important to know that the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah had claimed a month ago that local bodies’ elections in the province would be organized on party basis and well before the general election. He had further added that effective measures would be adopted to ensure rigging-free polls so that no contestant or party might object the process and arrangements.