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PML-N to hold convention of LG representatives

06 September, 2018

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Lahore: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) vowed on Wednesday to resist any attempts to dismiss local governments ahead of the expiry of their five-year term, demanding that reforms needed in the system should be undertaken after debate in the provincial assembly.

These announcements were made at the end of a gathering in Lahore attended by the party’s local government representatives, including mayors and chairmen of district councils across the province. The meeting was chaired by PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz.

The party decided to raise the issue in the assemblies, besides challenge any changes in the provincial law on local governments (LGs) in the court. It was also decided to hold a convention of PML-N’s LG representatives in the next week in Lahore. All the mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice-chairmen of district councils and municipal committees will participate in the convention where a strategy will be devised for future. Talking to the media after Wednesday’s meeting, former spokesperson of the Punjab government and PML-N MPA from Kasur, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan said that after some ministers of the PTI-led provincial government announced plans to abolish the existing LG system, uncertainty was prevailing among chairpersons of municipal committees and union councils. He said the meeting was called after a large number of LG representatives approached Hamza Shahbaz regarding their concerns. “The provincial LGs minister and the federal information minister have talked about abolishing the existing LG system and they have also talked about bringing a draft for a new LG system,” Khan said , adding that it would be unlawful on the part of the government to wrap up the system midway, before the expiry of the five-year term. Khan said if the government sought to reform the LG system, it should bring a draft for the purpose in the assemblies. The PML-N wouldn’t allow anyone to steal the people’s mandate once again, he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has given the task of preparing proposals for a new LG system within a week to LG minister Aleem Khan. The next step will be legislation on the draft.

In a statement in which he gave a brief outline of the new system, Aleem Khan said that mayors would be elected directly through popular ballot in the new system, instead of the existing system of indirect election with tehsil and union council chairmen forming the electoral college.

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