SC issues stay order on polls for mayor, deputy mayor across Sindh

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a stay order on elections for mayor and deputy mayor across Sindh – including Karachi – rejecting the Sindh government’s appeal challenging the Sindh High Court’s earlier order to declare an amendment in the local government law as void.

Through the Fourth Amendment to the Sindh Local Government Bill 2013, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led Sindh government had replaced secret balloting with a show of hands as the procedure to elect mayors, deputy mayors and other local government representatives in the province.

But last week, the Sindh High court in its verdict on identical petitions filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), had declared the amendment in the local government law as void. The Sindh government had filed a petition in the apex court challenging the SHC’s decision.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed announced its decision today, rejecting the Sindh government’s appeal and ordering to maintain status quo on the election of mayor and deputy mayor across Sindh, including Karachi.

During the hearing, Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the court wanted to hear the matter in detail.

The apex court bench also ordered postponement of the elections of mayors and deputy mayors in Sindh, including Karachi, until the court’s decision. The elections were scheduled to be held on February 20.

The hearing of the case was adjourned for further hearing until March 3.

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