Power devolution: MQM wants to speed up elections for mayor

Party’s nominees meet Sindh election commissioner to discuss issue


Our Correspondent April 21, 2016
PHOTO: PARWARSHA ARSHAD

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) urged on Thursday the provincial election commissioner to expedite the process of elections for mayor, deputy mayor, chairperson, vice-chairperson and reserved seats in Sindh.

The party’s mayor nominee, Wasim Akhtar, along with the nominees for chairperson and vice-chairperson, met provincial election commissioner Tanveer Zaki, and urged him to play his role in making sure that the elections are held at the earliest.

Akhtar, speaking to The Express Tribune, said that they also plan to meet the Sindh chief minister as the responsibility for holding the elections lies on the government. “The election commission has sent a letter to the Sindh government to implement the court’s order,” he said.

Last week, the Supreme Court had passed a judgment, stating that the election for positions of mayor, deputy mayors, chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and reserved seats would be held through secret balloting instead of show of hands and said that it should be held in within the next 60 days.

Akhtar said that the Sindh government will now need to bring an amendment in Section18 (a) of the Sindh Local Government Act, which had earlier changed the mode of the voting from secret balloting to a show of hands. According to the MQM leader, the issue is now lying with the law department.

“The local government elections have been held after eight years but the ruling party is still reluctant to transfer power to the grass-roots level. This is the reason they are delaying the process, as they don’t want power devolved,” he accused. He said that this matter must be resolved so that the elected local government representatives can come into power.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2016.

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