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Why people of Sindh are rejecting the Black Amendments in Local Government Act. 2013

Why people of Sindh are rejecting the Black Amendments in Local Government Act. 2013
 Posted on: 12/22/2013
As you are aware that PPP Government in Sindh has tried their best to avoid enablement of 3rd Tier of Democracy at the Grassroots level by delaying Local Government elections since almost past 4 years, and in order to distract and divert the timely course of action have been practically playing political gimmicks by introducing one after the other amendments in Local Government Act making it useless after every such amendment.

Initially they repelled almost all the public friendly components of the SLGO 2001 (which has genuinely delivered to the people of Sindh) and rolled back legislation to the outdated 1979 act introduced by the then dictator Zia-ul-Haq, MQM has been fighting for the democratic cause of the people of Sindh and have negotiated with PPP & allies many times in past 3 years but unfortunately the attitude of PPP led Government of Sindh has always shown their lack of commitment and non-serious attitude towards empowerment of Local Government System.

Finally due to the pressure of public, courts and election commission of Pakistan PPP lead Sindh Govt. was not left with any choice but to issue roadmap for the conduct of Local Government Elections however now they have gone to the next level by manipulating provincial executive powers and numbered majority in Sindh Assembly they have multiple times by introduction of amendments through ordinances and bills in assembly made a mess of Local Government System, curtailing almost all of their financial and executive powers on one hand and on the other hand by introducing unprecedented and illogical electoral process tried their best to make the whole LG system and election process a controversial joke with the people of Sindh.

Following are few of many such examples in this flawed law recently passed by Sindh Assembly by PPP despite a total consensus of all opposition parties against it:

1) After the recent amendments the financial powers of the elected local bodies are curtailed as Chairman / Vice Chairman have no powers to collect revenue, whereas Local Taxes which were within their jurisdiction have been taken away and made provincial subject which is in violation with 140-A of the constitution of Pakistan.

2) Violating article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan, individual candidates have been barred to contest elections and only a complete panel of candidates can contest jointly, ironically even if the nomination papers of 1 candidate are found not correct the whole panel will stand disqualified to participate in elections which is in violation with basic human rights.

3) Delimitation of electoral constituencies is the domain of election commission and as per the relevant laws it has to be done in relation to the last/latest census statistics however after this unconstitutional amendment the powers to delimit constituencies have been granted to the district administration bureaucrats who serve under the wish and will of provincial government.

4) Five different conflicting notifications have been issued regarding delimitation to confuse the people and have resulted in a huge number of petitions in courts regarding the disputes arising consequent to these unjust and unfair delimitation cases.
5) Further to assist politically motivated discriminatory delimitation they have allowed a dubious population range gap in a way that a single UC can be delimited on a population range anywhere between 10 to 50 thousand which has resulted in unjust distribution of constituencies both in urban and rural areas which will further increase gap between urban and rural sentiment.

6) This Local Government Amendment so far is the most controversial legislation in the history of Sindh Assembly as all opposition parties are united against the malafide intentions of PPP and all opposition parties in Assembly have filed constitutional petitions in Sindh High court against the Act.

7) According to sub clause 11 of clause 2 of this controversial amendment the 'Chief Executive' of all local bodies will be Bureaucrats and not the elected representatives as in a UC chief executive will be the UC secretary, in districts the municipal officer will hold the post and in metropolitan corporation the powers of chief executive will remain with the municipal commissioner therefore neither UC/District Chairman/Vice Chairman will have any powers nor the Mayor/Deputy Mayor.

8) Regardless of the population size each UC will get equal financial allocation which is a highly dubious act since the population rage gap maybe anywhere between 10 to 50 thousand therefore it is feared that larger urban population based UCs will be deprived of funds and will be discriminated.

9) The unconstitutional process of pre-poll rigging by changing the boundaries / demography of constituencies is the worst example of gerrymandering which has been ruthlessly applied by executive and legislative actions by the PPP led Sindh Government.

10) All opposition parties in Sindh Assembly and prominent voices of Civil Society have expressed deep concerns on these negatively motivated ambitious actions taken by the Sindh Government.

10/25/2016 5:49:06 PM