LAHORE - No major activity is visible at the level of Punjab government for holding local government elections, although the provincial assembly has passed a local government ordinance and the Supreme Court has required elections are conducted by mid-September sharp.
According to relevant sources, no formal meeting at the government level has been held so far to consider the timeframe and other allied matters to local government elections at the grass-root level.
Sources however say the government is interested in holding local government polls by December mainly due to the reason that at least three months are required for a fresh delimitation of constituencies in view of the updated demographic statistics after repealing that of the year 2001. Heavy floods in southern Punjab can also serve as the ground for holding LB polls at the end of the calendar year, when winter sets in.
Sources further say at the PML-N party level, zero movement exists vis-a-vis LG polls. At present the party leadership, which is at the helms of the government affairs, is giving top priorities to the issues of loadshedding, terrorism, economy, law and order and other matters.
Under the amended Constitution, the conduct of local government elections is the responsibility of the chief election commissioner. According to reports, the election commission has called upon the provinces to send it a copy of the respective local government law(s) so that election rules could be framed in their light.
Hopefully, the commission will also strive through the rules to answer the question of holding party-based and non-party based LG elections at the same time. Punjab and Balochistan have announced to hold LG elections on non-party basis while Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on party basis. However political and legal quarters await how the commission would manage to enforce two LG systems simultaneously and create a cohesion between the two to keep them running together for a term of four years.