Pakistan

Supreme Court orders mayor elections by secret ballot in Sindh

Karachi: The Supreme Court has declared that elections for the mayor and deputy mayor in Sindh to be held through a secret ballot.

The apex court dismissed an appeal by the Sindh government and gave its verdict.

Earlier the MQM and the PML-F had challenged the law in the Sindh High Court claiming that the Article 266 of the constitution allowed secret ballot elections.

The opposition parties particularly the MQM and PML-F had claimed that it was not consulted during amendments made by the Sindh government.

On 10th February, the SHC suspended the amendment to the local bodies’ government act and ordered for elections through a secret ballot.

The Sindh government appealed in the Supreme Court which suspended the mayor and deputy mayor elections till a verdict is reached.

The court commented that though it the responsibility of the government to make legislatures, elections through show of hands was impractical after the local bodies’ election.

However, the Supreme Court dismissed the opinion of the government counsel and it was its prerogative to make such legislatures in a constitutional process.

It was also decided that seats reserved for youth, laborers and others should be retained. The process for nominations on reserved seats should be completed within 60 days.

The Supreme Court also revived Article 18-A which was earlier suspended by a court order. This stated that reserved seats should be distributed proportionally among political parties.

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