Controversial local government bill unites political opponents in Sindh – Pakistan

KARACHI: Despite a strong protest from opposition parties in the province and the governor’s refusal to sign the legislation adopted by the provincial assembly, the 2021 bill on local government in Sindh will finally become law on Thursday (tomorrow ) indicating further escalation in the ongoing opposition campaign against the provincial government of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

An official confirmed that the governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail, once again, while raising several objections, refused to give his assent to the recently passed bill.

The LG bill, called a black law by almost all opposition parties, was first passed by the assembly last month. In accordance with constitutional requirements, the bill has been sent to the Governor of Sindh for his assent. However, he returned the legislation with a dozen objections to the assembly for reconsideration.

the governor refuses to give his assent to new legislation; meets the PSP and MQM delegations

On December 11, the ruling party responded to some of the governor’s objections, including removing a clause that allowed for the election of the mayor / president by secret ballot and re-establishing a condition that only an elected representative of the GL may contest the election of the mayor when it has taken place. again passed the LG bill.

However, the provincial government refused to return health and education functions to the municipalities it had, in opposition terms, “wrested” from local governments and passed the bill, which was sent back. to the governor for his assent.

According to article 116 of the Constitution: “When the Governor has referred a bill to the Provincial Assembly, it is re-examined by the Provincial Assembly and, if it is again adopted, with or without amendment, by the The Provincial Assembly, by the votes of the majority of the members of the Provincial Assembly present and voting, it is again presented to the Governor and the Governor gives his assent within 10 days, failing which this assent is deemed to have been given.

“When the governor has sanctioned or is deemed to have sanctioned a bill, it will become law and will be called an act of the provincial assembly. ”

With or without the approval of the governor, “After 12 days, he [LG bill] will be implemented automatically across the province, ”said a Governor House spokesperson.

Meetings of opposition parties

The governor’s new objection, though no matter what he does, is the reaction of opposition parties who have already started to consider uniting their separate movements.

In a new development, even rival parties are planning to join a one-point program that demands a strong LG system for Karachi and other parts of Sindh, unlike that proposed by the PPP government in the recently passed law.

The first movement came from the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who agreed on a mutual political program and admitted a recent thaw in their relations.

A PSP delegation headed by the former Deputy Mayor of Karachi, Dr Arshad Vohra, visited Governor Ismail in the presence of the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly of Sindh Haleem Adil Sheikh. The two sides discussed local government issues and expected a situation that may emerge after the implementation of the Sindh Local Government Bill 2021 (Amendment).

They agreed on a common struggle for the “real” democratic rights of the province and its cities and a policy of tolerance instead of ethnicity and hatred.

“The two parties have witnessed a recent thaw in their relations,” opposition leader Sheikh said during a speech to reporters with PSP leaders after the meeting. “We believe that every democratic party, which believes in the devolution of powers and a strong LG system, will sooner or later join together in the wider interest of the people of Sindh.”

PSP’s Dr Vohra agreed with the PTI leader and said it was because of his party’s serious concerns about the law that he approached every political organization that supported it. a strong LG system in the province.

“We believe in the best interests of the people,” he said. “We came to see the governor of Sindh and the leaders of the PTI only with the thought that there should be a consensual and common voice against this black PPP law.”

The PSP and PTI have already challenged the LG Bill in the Sindh High Court through their separate petitions.

Later, a delegation of four members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also met with the governor of Sindh.

A brief statement released by Governor House said the delegation, led by MQM-P Chairman Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, had had a detailed discussion with the Governor.

“The two sides discussed their reservations about the law on local government and federally funded projects in Karachi,” the statement added.

Posted in Dawn, December 22, 2021

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