Opposition concerned over ‘curtailed powers’ of tehsil mayors

Opposition concerned over 'curtailed powers' tehsil mayors

The opposition warned to move court if the powers of elected members were not restored.

PESHAWAR: Opposition political parties in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly raised serious concerns over the subordination of the directly-elected Local Government representatives to bureaucracy and warned to challenged it in the high court.

Opposition politicians called for an amendment to the local government act and a joint parliamentary committee to discuss the rules of business. Leader of the opposition in KP assembly leader Akram Khan Durrani in his address to the Assembly raised the issue.

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Durrani alleged that on the instructions of the Deputy Commissioners, the polling staff were transferred, despite the ban, to favour the ruling parties candidates. Durrani further said that forget about the deputy commissioners, the elected tehsil chairman was made responsible to the Assistant Commissioners.

He warned that the united opposition would move the court if the power and authority of the elected representative was not restored. Durrani added, “We have to strengthen public representatives. If the bureaucracy wants power, they should resign and start politics,” the leader of the opposition said.

The Awami National Party (ANP) lawmaker Khushdal Khan also supported Durrani’s proposal. Khan said that there a number of flaws in the local government act as it was passed in hurry without consulting the opposition lawmakers. He said that a parliamentary committee should be formed to resolve the issues.   

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), MPA Inayatullah Khan said that though the PTI claims for transferring power and authority at the grassroots level but the way the rules of business under LG act has abolished the power and authority of elected members. He said that the Local Government Act was amended in 2019 and now city mayor and tehsil mayor was elected directly, but it will serve no purpose if their power were not restored.

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Sardar Yousuf said that there was no need to change the rules of business of LG act. “The elected members’ powers were snatched after the government candidates lost the elections,” Yousaf said. He said that if the amendment in the rule of business is necessary all the opposition parties should be taken into confidence to device a legal course of action.

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