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LHC issues notice on petition against new Punjab local govt system

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued a notice to the Punjab government to submit comments on a petition challenging the Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019.

A bench of the high court heard a petition assailing the new local government system in Punjab.

A counsel for the Lahore mayor contended before the bench that the government introduced a new local bodies system, doing away with the existing local government institutions without allowing them to complete their term in power.

Advocate Ahsan Bhoon stated the local bodies election were held on the directives of the Supreme Court. He termed the new local government system as an attempt on the part of the provincial government to change faces.

Earlier, on May 4, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar ratified the Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019.

The Punjab Assembly passed two Bills to replace the existing local bodies with a new local government system amid protest by opposition parties, particularly the PML-N.

The provincial legislature passed the Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019 and the Punjab Villages Panchayats and Neighborhood Councils Bill, 2019.

The Punjab government plans to hold elections for the new local bodies within one year.

According to the new local government system, the village council and mohalla council would be elected through non-party election system, while election would be held on a party basis at tehsil and municipal level.

There will be a system of tehsil and village councils under the Act as the district and union council system would cease to have effect following the approval of the bill.

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