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PPP, opposition want postponement of LG polls in Sindh

PPP, opposition want postponement of LG polls in Sindh

KARACHI: The local government elections in Sindh are likely to be delayed as the provincial government is learnt to have decided to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Sindh High Court for their postponement.

Polling for the first phase of the LG election in four divisions of Sindh is scheduled to be held on June 26, while elections would be held in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on July 24 in the second phase.

Sources privy to the development told Dawn that almost all opposition parties had agreed upon postponement of the upcoming LG polls.

Spokesperson for the Sindh government and Administrator Murtaza Wahab confirmed to Dawn that the major opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance wanted deferment of LG polls till the structure of the local government and powers of the local bodies were reviewed and agreed upon in the new LG law.

MMA lawmaker opposes any delay in elections; third meeting of select committee held

He said that when pointed out that the polls could not be postponed untill the court permitted, the opposition parties suggested requesting the court in this regard by submitting the minutes of the select committee constituted to deliberate upon the amendments to the Sindh Local Government Bill 2022.

He said that opposition members were of the view that the reforms in the LG law would become infructuous if the polls were held on the previous law.

Earlier, the sources said that deferment of the LG polls came under deliberations during the third meeting of the select committee of the Sindh Assembly, which was held under the chairmanship of LG Minister Nasir Hussain Shah and members belonging to the opposition PTI, MQM-P and GDA were also present.

They said that the all major opposition parties had agreed to the provincial government’s proposal to defer the local government elections in the province.

The sources said that the minutes of the third meeting of the select committee would be sent to the ECP and submitted in the high court seeking deferment of the elections.

They said that the provincial government had earlier rejected the opposition’s proposals for amendments in the LG law, but now the recommendations of the select committee would be used to stop the polls.

According to a statement issued by the provincial government, the participants in the meeting of the select committee gave their views on local government laws.

Later, the LG minister told reporters that the suggestions and recommendations of the member parties would be made part of the local government law by consensus.

The LG minister said that the MQM-P wanted to increase the number of union committees. “Their suggestions are also under consideration,” he said, adding that the concerns of all parties would be taken into consideration and decisions would be taken by consensus.

He said that the local government representative would be given more powers in the amended law. “All stakeholders are working in consultation with each other,” he added.

Talking to Dawn, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s Syed Abdul Rashid, who belongs to the Jamaat-i-Islami, said that the local government polls should not be postponed.

“The government and other parties should not run away from the local government elections,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2022

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