Local government elections in Karachi recently concluded, with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emerging victorious with 93 seats, followed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) with 86 seats and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). comes in third place with 40 seats. However, no party has the necessary majority for the mayoral post in the city. As a result, PPP and JI must form an alliance between themselves or JI has to shake hands with PTI to appoint a mayor of choice.
Despite this, the 2013 amendment to the Sindh Local Government Act now only requires a simple majority to move a no-confidence motion, leaving the elected mayor with no job security. Controversy marked the local body polls like any other election, but the results left political parties in Karachi challenged to form a stable government with a clear majority.
The mayoral election of the country’s largest city and economic center faced a long delay as political uncertainty grew with each passing day.
The postponement of the mayoral election in Karachi has caused frustration among citizens, political parties and candidates as they have been preparing for the election for months. In addition, the delay raised concerns about the transparency and fairness of the electoral process as some parties accused the EKP of bias and manipulation. It also has an impact on the management of the city. This has resulted in a leadership vacuum, which has hampered the city’s capacity to deal with important issues such as infrastructure development, transport and public services.
Local government elections in Karachi were held on 15 January – two and a half years after the abolition of local government in Karachi on 30 August 2020. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) grabbed 91 seats out of 229, while the Jamaat-e-Islami won 85 seats and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could win 42 seats. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) won 7, 2 and one seat respectively.
The commission compiled the results of the elections for president and vice president in 229 trade union councils (SS), while the results of six UC have been retained. The debate on six seats will be heard by the EKP, and the elections could not be held in 11 seats due to the death of the candidates.
After the LG elections, the PPP and JI reached out to political parties to get their own mayor, but the process is facing a delay after the ECP said Karachi will have to wait for its mayor election until elections in all 246 union councils (UCs) are held. maintain. The election monitoring organization said that the elections in 11 out of the total of 246 IZs still remain, and the election of a mayor can only be possible after the elections are held in all electoral units.
Sindh Election Commissioner Ejaz Anwar Chauhan has already said that the process could take two to three months to complete.
To manage Pakistan’s largest city, the mayor has only the function of building and maintaining roads, managing major hospitals and Karachi Medical and Dental College, Karachi Zoo, Safari Park, City Aquarium, Sports Complex, Art Gallery, Museum, Metropolitan Library, Fire Fighting, Civil Defence, Traffic Engineering, Encroachment Removal and several other things.
According to a review report, the powers of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) appear limited compared to its status as the largest local government body in Sindh. The report states that some key local government functions such as health, education, environment, overall development and security are not within the competence of KUK.
Additionally, other functions included in its domain such as stray animal control, brick kilns and cattle colonies are considered trivial and more suitable for trade union committees (UCs). Further, the six District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) were independent with little association with the KMC. In addition, PPP-controlled DMCs and UCs communicate directly with the provincial government for funds and direction, bypassing the KMC.
The postponement of Karachi’s mayoral election has caused significant disruption and uncertainty in the city and raised important questions about the effectiveness and integrity of Pakistan’s electoral process. It is important that ECP, political parties and candidates work together to ensure that elections are conducted in a fair and transparent manner and that the city of Karachi can thrive with effective governance and leadership.