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Thursday October 06, 2022

MQM moves SC for withholding LG polls’ second phase

The MQMP filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court’s June 24 verdict that dismissed the party’s petition for withholding the local bodies’ elections in Sindh

July 01, 2022
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Photo: The News/File
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Photo: The News/File

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP) on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court’s June 24 verdict that dismissed the party’s petition for withholding the local bodies’ elections in Sindh.

MQM leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and others submitted in the petition that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had issued notifications for holding the local bodies election in two phases on June 26 and July 26 without completing the delimitation process and complying with the Supreme Court’s directives.

They submitted the impugned notifications were against the Supreme Court’s judgment, in which various vires of the LG Act had been declared the ultra vires of Section 140 A of the Constitution.

They stated that the Election Commission failed to carry out the delimitation exercise and complete the electoral lists in several constituencies, contending the lists had not been not rectified so far, adding that the election could not be held in absence of complete electoral voter lists.

They contended that the ECP deliberately delayed the proposed amendments in the local bodies laws and delimitation of constituencies in various districts of Karachi and other parts of Sindh, which indirectly favoured the ruling party.

They stated that basic number of constituencies in the local government elections have been created by the Sindh government, alleging that the Sindh government has carried out gerrymandering and on those places, especially in urban Sindh which had supporters of the MQM and the constituencies have been created on larger population.

They alleged that population criteria for the constitution of constituencies have been violated in various districts of Karachi and Hyderabad only to favour the ruling political party in the local bodies elections.

They submitted that the first phase of local bodies elections was rigged by the ruling political party in connivance with the police, local administration and the ECP staff. They submitted that the ECP failed to control the bogus voting in the first phase of the local bodies elections and requested the court to withhold the second phase of the local bodies election until the delimitation of constituencies and compliance of the Supreme Court’s directives for holding the local bodies elections.

They said that the Sindh government also raised a number of union councils in Karachi West and Keamari districts despite the issuance of the local government election schedule, which also amounts to gerrymandering.

They said that the ECP also failed to publish the final report and lists of constituencies, depriving the voters of exercising their right to vote. They maintained that the proposed local bodies’ elections would be of no purpose in the absence of meaningful devolution of power to the grass roots within the meaning of 140A of the Constitution.

The requested the court to set aside the ECP notification to hold the local government polls in absence of meaningful legislation of the local bodies’ law and non-compliance with the SC’s directives.

They also requested the court to set aside the high court’s order and restrain the ECP from holding the local bodies elections before the delimitation of constituencies and preparation of election rolls.

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