LHC orders LB polls in Punjab on party basis

LHC orders LB polls in Punjab on party basis

lhcLAHORE: The Lahore High Court has ruled that Punjab’s local government elections be held on party basis as opposed to what the provincial government had originally envisaged.

Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan heard the petition filed by PPP, PTI and JI against government decision of holding LB polls on non-party basis. The LHC said the delimitation of constituencies was the right of the provincial govt.

The ruling issued on petitions seeking LG elections on party basis further stated that Sections 14 and 18 of the Punjab Local Government Act 2013 were in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The petitioners were of the view that non-party polls would weaken the foundation of political parties in the province, which would be in the national interest.

Petitioners had also argued that the local government system was the foundation of all democratic principles and the structure of democracy was based on this foundation.

The Punjab government had however stated that the nature of LG institutions was not legislative but administrative, therefore, party-based elections could not be held. It had further said that the Constitution allowed party-based polls for legislative institutions only.

In the order, the LHC stated that Local Government Act 2013 section 18 was against basic human rights. According to the order, it is the provincial government’s authority to decide delimitations of local bodies.

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