KARACHI - Reacting over finalising the date of Local Bodies’ election on January 18, 2014 in the province by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PPP government has objected the proposed date and declared it was its prerogative to give date for the elections.

Sindh Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Advocate General of the province showed reservations over the one-sided decision of giving date of LG polls by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

When contacted, Dr Mandhro told The Nation the Supreme Court has clearly directed that the ECP should finalise the date of the local government elections in consultation with the provinces. “The ECP has announced the proposed date of January 18, 2014 without consultation of Sindh.”

He confirmed that provincial government in the ECP meeting scheduled on November 19 in Islamabad will give date for the LG polls in the province according to its preparations and ground realities.

The minister argued that every province’s has its own problems and ground realities so deciding the polls date by the EC would be contested. He hoped the ECP and the provincial government will mutually decide the new date of elections in the upcoming meeting on November 19.

“Sindh government will give suggestion to the ECP to hold the local government elections on the same day in all the four provinces. If the suggestion was not accepted, the provincial government will give new date of the polls according to its requirements and ground realities,” he added.

MPAs from all the parliamentary parties in Sindh Assembly while delivering speeches on the resolution had emphasized on the Election Commission to ensure essential requirements like magnetic ink, proper voter lists and printing of ballot papers from the Printing Press of Pakistan, which are prerequisite for fair, free and transparent local government elections.

Meanwhile, the PPP Sindh Chapter has invited applications from the candidates with fees of Rs2,000 for the post of chairman and vice chairman from union council level. Rupees 1,000 fees has been set for councilors of Karachi union councils and union committees.

A statement issued by the party has advised the hopefuls to submit their applications with fees to the District Presidents in Sindh including Karachi districts.

The candidates have been directed to send their applications to PPP parliamentarian’s chief Makhdoom Amin Fahim through the district president concerned for awarding the party ticket in the local government elections. Despite the proposed date of January 18, 2014, confusion and uncertainty still exists whether the local government elections would be held or not.

Earlier, the Sindh government gave the date of November 27 which was extended to December 7, 2013 by the Supreme Court on its request but now the ECP had proposed January 18 for local government elections in the province. The new date is not certain yet as Sindh government has raised objection over it.

Thousands file nomination papers to ROs

Our staff reporter from lahore adds: Thousands of candidates for the Local Bodies election on Wednesday filed their nomination papers to the Returning Officers deputed by the provincial Election Commission. The candidates belonging to different political parties thronged to the offices of the Returning Officers as Wednesday which was the last day for the submission of nomination papers.

However, after the Supreme Court allowed the ECP on its request to announce a new schedule for the Local Government polls, the new schedule would be announced by the commission later.

According to the schedule proposed by the Election Commission‚ the Local Bodies polls in Punjab could be held on January 30 next year‚ and in Sindh on January 18.