A day earlier the Local Government Amendment bill 2010 was unanimously approved the Sindh Assembly. Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani moved the bill to amend the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001 bill.
Subsequently the Bill 2010 was sent to Governor Sindh for approval and execution.
Under this bill, local body administrators would be non-political and bureaucrats, and elections will be held on party basis. Elections will be held within 20 days and legislator will appoint a bureaucrat as administrators in place of Nazims.
In the first phase two main amendments were made in the original Sindh Local Government Ordinance (SLGO), 2001, introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
An amendment in section 153 of the SLGO, 2001 had been made to allow holding the LG elections on party basis. A new section has been added in section 179 of the original law, under which the government has been empowered to dissolve the existing local bodies, appoint government officers as administrators to replace the nazims and holding fresh elections within 120 days.
According to the amendment, the 120-day deadline would start after appointment of administrators.
Agha Siraj Durrani, the Minister for Local Government, said, “today is one of the greatest days in the history of Sindh. We will make sure to hold polls within 120 days. The roles played by President Asif Ali Zardari, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain were crucial in reaching consensus on the bill.”
After the unanimous passage of the bill Minister for Law Muhammad Ayaz Soomro said, “this is the beginning of the end to the system introduced by the dictator. The local government system introduced in 2001 had encroached upon the rights of the provinces and increased centralization. The new law would likely be introduced within 30 days to hold LB polls. Civil servants from grade 17 to 19 would be appointed as administrators.”
PPP’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly and Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said, ”the real credit goes to slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto who introduced the policy of reconciliation and asked for respecting the mandate of each party.”
In the debate on the bill, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said, “it is binding upon us to hold next LB polls in 120 days and we will strive hard to meet this condition”.
ANP and members of PPP congratulated the government on its commitment with the provincial government and said that this democratic government has provided the provincial government with its own independent elections.
Sindh’s Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq states, “Sindh has shown more political maturity as all decisions was taken in consultation with the coalition partners.”
The 1979 local bodies’ ordinance introduced by military ruler Gen. Ziaul Haq will now be repealed with this Act. In order to bring “suitable” amendments in the LB system of 1979 this was delayed. Other provinces were not in favor of LB polls and Punjab was even reluctant to hold by-polls on vacant National Assembly seats.
The military governments in the past introduced LG system and their purpose was to bypass national and provincial assemblies, now as Pakistan is enjoying a democratic government after a long lapse provincial assemblies needed to have their autonomy.