PHC declares non-partisan local govt elections ‘unconstitutional’

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday declared Neighbourhood and Village Council elections to be held in KP on a non-partisan basis unconstitutional.

In a short ruling, the high court announced this decision while hearing pleas filed by the opposition politicians against the KP government.

As per the details, Akram Khan Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Inayatullah Khan and Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami and Khushdal Khan, Himayatullah Mayar had filed a petition against the local government polls.

The PHC gave directive to the ECP to take important measures for holding party-based elections. Soon after the ruling of the high court, it became evident that the local government elections in KP will be delayed as the provincial government has sought time to think over their decision.

After the ruling, the ECP contacted the KP government and said that it will make a decision regarding the election schedule after consultations with the government.

Adding to that, the government has also restored the accounts of local bodies under the Local Government Act 2013.

Guidelines pertaining to the accounts’ operations were issued to the chief officers on the directions of Local Government Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal.

As per a spokesperson of the local government, the competent officers will be responsible for transferring of funds, currently in accounts established under the 2019 Act to the accounts created under the 2013 Act.

The statement added that these transfers will be made via cross cheques.

PFC, all local government revenue shares that tax shares would be transferred to bank accounts established under the 2013 Act as soon as possible.

Additionally, the bank account opened under the Local Government Act 2019 will cease to function.

The decision concluded by stating that payments for employees’ salaries, pensions, electricity bills, petrol and other expenses will continue as routine.

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