The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) contested the change to the Local Government Act that would have allowed non-elected individuals to serve as provincial mayors in an appeal to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday.
The JI argued in the appeal that the local body elections were conducted by the Primary Local Body Act 2013, which required the elected chairperson or mayor candidates to take an oath. The petition was submitted through Advocate Usman Farooq.
They argued that the amendment legislation allowed for unelected individuals to hold the position of mayor.
According to the petition, the mayor should be chosen from among the elected officials by the letter of the Local Government Act. It also stated that the constitution’s Articles 90 to 93 and 129 to 131 describe the framework for the federal and provincial administrations, respectively.
It went on to say that it would be against the spirit of the Constitution and local government laws to elect non-elected people as mayors.
Before the scheduled mayoral election the following week, the JI argued that the May 24 notification sent out for the most recent revision should be ruled invalid.
Speaking to the media outside the SHC, JI leader Hafiz Naeemur Rehman blasted the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for employing “negative tactics” and stated that the PPP had asserted that the Karachi mayor would not receive financing if he was not a member of their party.
Rehman asserted that he approached the SHC about a significant issue and questioned whether the city was their fief.
The JI leader stressed that the Local Government Act made involvement in the council a requirement for candidates, and the JI had entered the election for council members by that law.
He proceeded by saying that running for the union committee took up a lot of time and that having an outsider on the committee created an unfair playing field. The legislature, he said, has made things easier for a candidate from a specific party.
According to Rehman, the law was passed in May and put into effect in December 2021. The legislation “according to the desire of the PPP” would not be accepted, he insisted.