Justice Shahid Waheed of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered the government to reply within a week to a petition moved on behalf of the Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) against the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance, 2016.
PAT information secretary Noorullah Siddiqi had filed the petition submitting that the amended ordinance had turned the election process into “selection”.
The petitioner said that independent candidates had been made subject to coercion… and “undue influence” of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. He said open division for electing chairmen or mayors was biased against independent candidates.
“The post-legislative strategy of the provincial government to manipulate results is highly objectionable and repugnant to the Constitution,” Siddiqi said. He had requested the court to declare the impugned amendments null and void and restrain the Election Commission of Pakistan from holding the forthcoming elections to reserved seats as well as mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen, vice chairmen of district councils under the amended ordinance.
The LHC has already sought a reply from the government on petitions against the amended ordinance filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2016.