Sindh Assembly approves local government amendment bill

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Monday approved the Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014, after which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have the authority to carry out delimitation of constituencies in the province.

The bill was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro and was approved with majority votes.

The authority to carry out delimitation was previously held by the provincial government which has been transferred to the ECP after the approval of the amendment bill.

Dr Sikandar Mandhro told the provincial assembly that the amendments have been done in the light of Supreme Court’s orders according to which the right of carrying out delimitation has been transferred to the ECP. The violation of the new law could result in disqualification of the elected representatives for four years, Dr Sikandar added.

According to the content of the bill, the word ‘delimitation’ has been replaced by constituting union council.

It may be mentioned that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers were not present during the session as they had staged a walkout from the Sindh Assembly in protest against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s public criticism of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Earlier, the provincial ministers of MQM submitted their resignations to Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

Two provincial ministers and three advisers submitted their resignations. Meanwhile, the party submitted a request in the office of Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani to allot opposition benches to its lawmakers.

It may be mentioned that on Sunday, MQM announced to part its ways with PPP-led Sindh government over PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s public criticism of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.