SC gives provinces Sept 23 deadline to schedule LG polls
19 September, 2013
QUETTA: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set the deadline of September 23 for scheduling the local bodies' elections in all four provinces.
The Quetta Registry of the Supreme Court gave the deadline while hearing the local bodies' election petition. The advocates general of three provinces and Balochistan government's counsel Shahid Hamid appeared before the court.
Hamid said the Balochistan cabinet would be formed within two days after which the schedule for the local bodies' election would be formulated. The chief justice remarked, "We are not compelling you but this is what law says."
Meanwhile, Punjab advocate general told the court that the Punjab government is prepared to hold the elections, but it would be better if all the provinces held them simultaneously. He further said that a meeting of chief ministers of the four provinces is scheduled for September 20 (tomorrow) in Islamabad where they would make a decision about the local bodies' elections.
The chief justice noted that the local bodies' election is a matter of the provinces and the federal government should not be involved in it. The court gave five days' time to the provinces to schedule the elections and adjourned until September 23.
The Sindh government has decided to conduct the local government elections on November 27, according to Advocate General SM Khalid Javed. The Supreme Court was informed of this decision during the Wednesday hearing. According to media reports, various politics parties have not been taken into confidence yet but they will be soon.
Earlier, the Sindh government had requested the court to grant time until December for the conduct of local government elections, as they required a favourable law and order situation, the completion of the delimitation process and some legal amendments, but this was not accepted by the apex court's larger bench at the SC Quetta Registry.
The Supreme Court had on Monday asked the provincial governments to submit written reports about the progress made for holding local government elections. Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had said that the local government elections were being delayed. He said that 80 percent of the problems faced by the people across the country would end once the local government system is restored.