Sindh govt defends abolishment of 120 day condition to hold LG polls
The Sindh government on Wednesday defended its move to amended a law which made it mandatory to hold fresh elections within 120 days after one local government completes its tenure.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon reiterated that there is no delay in holding polls from the government and that they are ready to hold the polls.
The Sindh Government had on Monday amended a clause in the Sindh Local Government Act 2013.
Within it, Article 34 relates to the conduct of elections by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
It prescribes that the date or dates of fresh elections would be provided between 60 days to 120 days from the end of term of local governments.
34 - Election Commission to conduct elections:
1 - The Election Commission of Pakistan shall conduct elections for the Councils under this Act.
2 - Government shall, in consultation with the Election Commission, make an announcement of the date or dates on which the election for the councils shall be conducted in the province or part thereof.
Provided that the date or dates of such election shall not be less that 60 days and not more than 120 days from the date of such announcements.
Provided further that government may extend or curtail the period mentioned in this section if the circumstances so warrant.
Memon defends move
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon told SAMAA TV morning showNaya Din that anything that the government had done was keeping within the parameters of the overall law.
He added that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was not afraid of going to the polls for local government elections.
Memon pointed to how the first phase of the local government elections have already been completed and the party won it through heavy majority.
In Karachi and Hyderabad divisions where the second phase of elections are due to be held, Memon said that the PPP has already won many seats unopposed.
He added that in Hyderabad Division, he said that many areas were still inundated with flood waters while flood refugees were still camped in public schools so polling cannot take place there.
Hence unless the situation improves, they cannot hold elections there.
In Karachi too, he said that they provincial government was willing to hold elections and that it should be held in two phases so that the provincial government can be held in a safe and secure environment.
Even in the first phase of elections, Memon said that they had to request additional police from other districts.
“We want elections to be held on time,” he said.
Earlier, on Monday, the Sindh government has abolished the clause 34-A in local government bylaws.
it is worth noting that the ECP has thrice postponed local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on the request of Sindh government.
Previously, polls were scheduled for October 23.