KARACHI: On Wednesday, Jamaat Islami filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) challenging a change in Sindh local government law that allows for the election of unelected mayors and chairmen.
The Jamaat Islami, Karachi’s second largest political party, has filed a high court challenge to recent revisions to the municipal law.
The party has petitioned the court, claiming that the local elections were held in accordance with the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 and that the candidates for chairman and mayors were sworn in under the same act.
“An amended law has been passed to facilitate the election of unelected persons as chairmen and mayors without taking into account their ineligibility,” JI pleaded.
“Under the spirit of the local councils’ law, a mayor should be taken from the elected representatives,” it claimed.
JI has petitioned the Supreme Court to deem the May 24 notification of a recent legislative revision illegal.
In May, the Sindh Assembly ratified a major modification to the Local Government Act, which was also supported by MQM and GDA members, allowing the mayor to be elected to a local council seat within six months of being elected.
According to Provincial Minister Nasir Shah, the modification permits the mayor six months to be elected to a local council seat under the norm that allows a federal minister.
The Sind Government had already resolved to modify the Local Government Act to remove the requirement that a mayor candidate be elected to a general or special seat on a local council.
It is worth noting here that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has the most seats in the municipal council, with 155, while the JI has 130. However, PTI, the city council’s third largest party, has endorsed JI candidate for mayor Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman. PTI backing ensures that JI is elected mayor with a simple majority.
However, following the May 09 occurrences, a cloud of uncertainty hung over PTI members who were charged with violent episodes during the party’s rally.