ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader from Karachi Ali Haider Zaidi petitioned the Supreme Court on Saturday to set aside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to hold the first phase of local government elections on June 26 in 14 districts of Sindh.
The petition pleaded that the elections could not be scheduled by the ECP and balloting could not occur until constituencies’ delimitation.
It also said the Sindh government should bring necessary amendments to the Sindh Local Government Act of 2013 and other laws concerning building control and town planning, water supply, sewerage and waste disposal, local and public transport, and civic facilities like parks, playgrounds, libraries, mosques, graveyards and parking lots.
Unless the powers, functions and responsibilities of local governments were devolved upon the local government through amendments to necessary laws, the elected local government would continue to remain powerless and would be unable to bring about any material changes for the betterment of the people of Sindh, the petition argued.
It emphasised that the Sindh government should also implement the provincial financial commission award otherwise the elected local government would have no financial resources to bring about any changes or perform its functions.
It said the candidates aspiring for the local government were unaware of the power, functions and responsibilities of the offices they were contesting for. Similarly, the voters were unaware of the power, functions and responsibilities of the offices they would vote for. This ambiguity would result in low voter turnout on the election day and many qualified prospective candidates would not contest for a powerless office, it said.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2022