KARACHI: Terming the frequent amendments to the local government law by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party ‘rigging’, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement asked the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday to stop the amendment bill that changed the election procedure for mayor, deputy mayor and others from becoming law.
Speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters on Tuesday evening, senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 had been amended thrice since the local government elections were held in three phases in the province.
He said that the amended LG laws aimed at carrying out rigging since the ruling PPP had lost elections in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.
Accompanied by MQM mayoral nominee Waseem Akhtar and other leaders, Dr Sattar said that if there was a genuine need to amend the LG law then it could have been carried out before the local government elections.
The MQM leader questioned whether the ECP existed or was it intentionally not taking action on what he called blatant violations.
“The election commission should announce that its presence is only symbolic in nature,” he quipped.
He said that the amendment bill was illegal and unconstitutional as the PPP violated the rules of the Sindh Assembly in presenting and adopting the amended law.
Dr Sattar asked the ECP to take notice of the PPP’s illegal act and listen to the voice of the province. “The election commission must stop this bill before the governor gives his assent to it,” he demanded.
He said that the ECP did not respond to any of the complaints lodged by the MQM.
Replying to a question, he said that there were many other ways to prove that the amendment bill was illegal and unconstitutional.
He alleged that elected representatives were being pressured to change their loyalties since the PPP wanted to grab more reserved seats for women, youths, minorities and labourers.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2016