ISLAMABAD: With local government (LG) elections in the federal capital approaching fast, the government is all set to get the Islamabad local government bill approved by the Senate in the session starting today (Monday).
The Senate session has been convened so that pending legislation including the local government bill for Islamabad can be passed. The proceedings of the upper house will coincide with proceedings of the Supreme Court over a petition on the same issue filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The commission has filed an application seeking directions in the absence of any law on LG polls for Islamabad. The commission has said it has made all arrangements for holding the elections as per the directions of the court on July 25 but a bill over this subject was pending in parliament.
The government, it has been learnt, had assured the ECP that the LG bill for the federal capital would be passed in the Senate session which starts today (Monday). In case the government is unable to get the bill passed – as opposition parties hold majority seats in the upper house – it has planned to issue an ordinance.
Earlier, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had passed the Islamabad local government bill but with amendments that said that the polls should take place on a party basis. The bill passed by the National Assembly had proposed non-party elections in the federal capital.
If passed by the Senate, the amended bill will go back to the National Assembly for voting.
The Senate is also likely to discuss in detail load-sheddings during the heatwave in Karachi that caused deaths on a large scale in today’s session. The house has 25 items on its agenda for the first sitting.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.