Punjab Governor Signs Bill Abolishing Province’s Local Bodies System
The Punjab governor on Saturday signed a bill abolishing the province’s current local bodies system, according to an official notification.
The Punjab government will hold new local government elections within a year. In the meantime, deputy commissioners will work as administrators in 27 districts, while nine divisions will be run by commissioners. The names will be announced in the next few days.
According to Punjab Local Government Bill 2019, the new municipal system will be made up of two categories –municipal and mohalla council in urban areas and tehsil and village council in rural areas.
The bill was passed on April 30, with a majority vote of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf members. Law Minister Raja Basharat and Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi ruled against the opposition on ‘technical grounds’ . The bill was introduced in the house only eight days prior. Soon after a petition challenging the new law was filed in the Lahore High Court.
The last local body elections were held in 2015 in three phases. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) swept the board winning 30 district councils, while Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) were unable to get the top positions in any of the districts.